Urges envoys to change their attitude
Sharafat Kazmi Islamabad
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday directed Pakistani embassies around the globe to give special treatment to the Pakistani diaspora and resolve their problems on a priority basis.
He was virtually addressing the Pak ambassadors stationed across the globe and called for according special treatment to the overseas Pakistanis.
“We have received massive complaints from our labourer class working in various countries on the Pakistan Citizen Portal and added that overseas Pakistanis are our asset and any negligence to serve them is unacceptable”.
He pointed out that 17 services were supposed to be provided by the embassies abroad and as per the citizen portal and feedback from overseas Pakistanis, inordinate delays, complications in routine services and non-adherence to time commitments were the common complaints.
Mr. Khan said there should be complete monitoring of the complaints of overseas Pakistanis and embassies must work with the approach to resolve issues being confronted by the Pakistani labourers abroad.
Imran Khan said the government will provide all possible assistance to our foreign missions to facilitate our people in different countries.
Imran Khan also directed ambassadors to focus on bringing Foreign Direct Investment to Pakistan and it must be evaluated that which embassy facilitated how much FDI to Pakistan.
He said Pakistani prisoners in foreign jails need special attention and efforts should be made for their release as well.
Prime Minister said in present-day Pakistan, the traditional attitude of the Pak embassies could not go along, whereas the Indian embassies abroad were extremely pro-active in bringing foreign investment in their country, as opposed to our embassies.
The Prime Minister made it clear that this system (of embassies functioning) could not run anymore this way; it could have been in the old British colonial era. “We can’t go along with such system in the present day Pakistan.
The biggest job of these embassies is to serve the diaspora while the country is faced with very difficult financial situation.
In the given situation, they should reflect on how and what they can do to bring foreign investment here,” he contended.
He said that Pakistani embassies give traditional response instead of redressal of grievances ‘so we want the attitude of ambassadors towards Pakistanis abroad to be better but unfortunately Pakistani embassies treat their citizens badly and there was no grievance redressal mechanism in embassies.
Imran Khan, while expressing anger over the bad treatment of overseas Pakistanis in Pakistani embassies around the world, said that the old British colonial system could work like this but it could not work in present-day Pakistan.
Khan recalled how he witnessed the attitude of the High Commission when he landed in England 50 years back and during 1970s, 80s and 90s and attitude of ambassadors towards Pakistanis, specially the labour class was of how masters dealt during
the colonial days.
Prime Minister noted that their attitude to the educated and well-to-do was by and large good. But this needed to be changed now with reference to the overseas working class, he emphasized.
The Prime Minister said that due to other engagements, he could not pay as much attention to it as he should have and remarked, “after we came to power, we also gave guidance to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on what we should do for overseas
Pakistanis because they are our greatest strength and because of them Pakistan is still running. Our country has not gone bankrupt due to remittances of overseas Pakistanis”.
Imran Khan said in the 70s and 80s and 90s, the attitude of our ambassadors and embassy staff towards the working class in England was very bad.
The expectations of the workers were related to their own embassy but the attitude of some ambassadors and officials was of colonial era. But now this attitude is unacceptable in embassies.
I started getting complaints from Saudi Arabia, our working people had been complaining for a year and a half that the embassy was not responding, and
then there were a couple of incidents.
Prime Minister continued that the Pakistanis with whom he had been in touch the most, he asked them to give their opinion regarding the Pakistani embassy in Saudi Arabia, so the opinion they gave was a big shock that the people do not care, services are not being provided while complaints are also seen on our Citizen Portal, which were exactly the same.