Fawad defends PM Imran’s criticism of Pakistan missions


Amazon to open new
route for exports: Dawood

Staff Reporter

Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Friday questioned why action shouldn’t be taken against foreign service officials for instances of blocking labour access to embassies.

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad alongside Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood, Chaudhry said: “There are incidents where embassy officials placed rocks and blocked routes to (Pakistani) embassies so labour could not enter.

Should proceedings not be initiated against them?”
He said that the details of events which had caused Prime Minister Imran Khan to address the country’s ambassadors and point out their mistakes should be examined.

He added that in one instance, an embassy which is currently under investigation, had mishandled the case of a woman being continuously raped while working at someone’s home.

The minister said that the victim had approached the embassy to seek help.

“However, the officer present had told her off by saying: ‘You’ve already had three divorces before. Why don’t I hand you over to the police?’ This response led her to go back to the house,” he said.

“If Pakistan’s prime minister doesn’t talk about this behaviour, then who will? If the government and the prime minister can’t stand with the working class and the poor then what right do we have to remain in government?”

The minister’s comments come a couple of days after Prime Minister Imran Khan, while speaking to envoys posted in 19 countries through video  conferencing, said he had noticed “shocking callousness” of Pakistani diplomats posted overseas after a few recent incidents involving expatriates.

Meanwhile, the commerce advisor commented on e-commerce giant Amazon’s decision to include Pakistan on its sellers’ list and said it had been the “number one” suggestion.

“A new route will open up for exports,” he said, adding that a lot of encouraging messages were received after the announcement. “A very big opportunity has opened up”.

The commerce adviser also outlined challenges and issues which needed to be worked on such as logistics, quality control and assurance, training of Pakistani merchants and work on smooth payment mechanisms.

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