MoFA violates foreign policy, places ‘blue-eyed officers’ in important destinations

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has posted a number of “blue-eyed officers” on important destinations, violating the foreign posting policy.

According to sources, a senior officer of Foreign Services of Pakistan has written a letter to MoFA in respect of the policy on foreign posting of its officers.

The officer highlighted that around 25 presumed violations were observed in the implementation of the criterion set in the policy.

He mentioned that there were 12 violations of clause 2(f) of the policy under the change from category A station to another category A station such as Hassan Mohammad Rabbani posted to Washington from London, Saima Salem to UN (New York) from Geneva, Zaman Mehdi to Geneva from Washington, Syed Mustafa Rabbani to Birmingham from London, Aizaz Khan to Brussels from Hague, Zain ul Abidin to Canberra from Denmark, Imtiaz Feroz Ghondal to Abu Dhabi from Madrid, Dr Fareha Bugti to London from Geneva, Ammar Amin to Canberra from Paris, Gul Qaisar to UN (New York) from Tokyo, and Dr Faisal Aziz to London from Abu Dhabi.

Similarly, Umer Siddique was posted to Ankara despite the fact that he had already completed his four years of service at the station.

In addition, MoFA also posted Tanveer Ahmad, Irfan Mahmood and Saifullah Khan to Nepal, Paris and Kabul in violation of clause 2(i) as officers cannot get a third consecutive posting.

According to the document, Main Atif Sharif and Shoaib Sarwar were serving in Kuala Lumpur and Los Angeles despite completion of tenure which stands in violation of clauses 2(k) and 2(j) of the policy.

Besides, the letter stated that Sarfaraz Ahmad Khan posted to Kabul from Mazar Sharif stands in violation of clause 2(h) of the policy.

Document stated that junior officers Ehsan Kareem and Umair Khalid were posted to Paris when most of their batch was still waiting for the language course. This stands in violation of established principle of seniority and clause 2(b) and 3(i) of policy.

The letter further states that A category station officers such as Dr Najam Saher, Zainul Abidin, Gul Qaisar, Naila Israr and Kamran Dhangai also recommended for new positions to Toronto, Canberra, UN New York, Bangkok and Berlin despite the fact they did not meet the initial cut-off date of joining headquarters for consideration in the posting plan.

He mentioned in the letter that the policy on foreign postings of officers dated May 22, 2015, is still in vogue and MoFA claims to have prepared the year 2020 posting plan of officers under the provision of the said law.

The 2015 policy calls for the establishment of a panel comprising of AS (A), DG (P), Director (P-1) and two officers of BS-20 or above nominated by foreign secretary seeking options from the officers and conducting interviews to establish the suitability of officers as per the criteria mentioned in the policy against the available stations.

The officer revealed in its letter that the implementation mechanism as enshrined in the policy has been completely done away with and the selection committee was not formulated, interviews were not conducted, and choice from officers was sought but valued only in certain cases.

The scribe also approached the spokesman of MoFA but he did not reply till filing of the story.

Shahzad Paracha
Shahzad Paracha
The writer is a member of Pakistan Today's Islamabad bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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