ISLAMABAD: The members of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs have called for increasing budget of the Foreign Ministry on ‘emergency basis’ to help the country cope with diplomatic challenges it was facing in foreign missions, ARY News reported.

The Senate body members expressed consent and sought a hike in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs budget.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said several Pakistan missions abroad were working under limited resources. ‘In fact a number of missions have just two persons in their team,” he stated.

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The minister said India had allocated $3 billion for spending on its diplomatic mission.

Chairman of the committee said creating special funds for public diplomacy was now inevitable.

“The Foreign Ministry is the first line of defence, the funds need to be increased if we aim to make Pakistan’s representation in the world at par with other countries,” he remarked.

Senator Mushaidullah said there was no briefing from Pakistan in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) meeting in Paris and the ambassador arrived after the conference ended.

Qureshi said it was a parliamentary issue, and not an individual one. Senator Javed Abbasi said the minister must take action on it. He said four senators had also faced disrespectful treatment of late.

The foreign minister said respect should be given to all parliamentarians.

 

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