ISLAMABAD: Senate panel on Foreign Affairs has criticized the F-16 debacle and termed it failure of Ministry of Foreign Affair on foreign policy front.
Senate committee on Foreign Affairs met on Thursday , Senator Nuzhat Sadiq chaired the meeting.
Tahir Mashhadi of MQM raised the issue of recently refusing of United States for provision of F-16 Jets to Pakistan on subsidies rates. He said despite the fact that Pakistan lost more than 60 thousands civilians and around nine thousand armed forces personnel in war of terror. Pakistani diplomats in US and other relevant officials failed to convinced US congress members about the sacrifices that Pakistanis has rendered.
Mushahid Hussain Syed of PML-Q supported views of Mashhadi and said that he submitted adjournment motion in the Senate regarding the issue. He said that due to increasing relations between India and US and recently their strategic agreement, India is ready first time publicly providing airbases to US. He said previously also India during the era of Jawaharlal Nehru and Andra Ghandi times India secretly provided airbases to US. He said after the Indo-American agreement pressure on Pakistan increasing.
Karim Khawaja of PPP said that Pakistan’s Foreign Office and diplomats not doing their job properly and professionally. He said none of the Pakistani ambassador brings any foreign investment in Pakistan. He said most of Pakistani diplomats business in their own works and wants to their children get education from abroad in god institution. They didn’t have any concern with Pakistan.
Moulana Atta-U-rehman of JUI-F raised the issue of misbehaviour with Pakistanis in Russia last month. Special Secretary MoFA Amjad Hussain Siyal replied that these Pakistan initially deported to Turkey later on they return to Pakistan.
Earlier, Director General Fiancé, Foreign Office Shujjat Rathore informed the committee that budget for financial year 2015-16 for Foreign Affairs Division is Rs 1.289 billion, proposed budget for year 2016-17 is Rs 1.449 billions. Ministry requested Finance Division (FD) for provision of Rs 160 million in addition to the already approved IBC. The priority committee meeting, which was held on 11 April, 2016 discussed demand of the Ministry of the Foreign Affairs for provision of additional funds and advised to further discuss the requirement of additional funds with the Financial Adviser. It was agreed to provide additional funds for enhancement of security arrangements RS 35.00 millions and for the Cyber security 80 millions. FD not agreed the proposals of MOFA for provision of Rs 40.00 million for outsourcing cleaning service and 5.00 million for payment of pension contribution.
DG said that MOFA beget for under demand for mission abroad for year 2015-16 Rs 11.673 billions. FD was requested for provision of additional funds of Rs 1577 million above the IBC. The request of MOFA was discussed in the priority committee’s. The priority committee advised to hold a follow up meeting with the Financial Adviser to further discuss the demand for provision of additional funds. In a follow up meeting with Adviser, wherein agreed to provide Rs 950.00 million in addition to the approved IBC. In which, payment of Social security to local based staff hired by the missions abroad Rs 110.00 million. For outsourcing of cleaning services in missions abroad Rs 250.00 and Rs 120.00 million for opening up new Councils in Madina and Dammam, Rs 200 million for opening four new set ups of OM Wing in Baku, Toronto, Berlin and Los Angles and Rs 270 millions for beefing up security of the missions abroad.
He informed that committee that FD has not agreed provision of Rs 627 millions for revision of pay scales missions in abroad and financial implications of enfacement in age limit on education subsidy, increase in rent and replacement of vehicles.
DG said that the expenditure for the next financial year will be meeting from increase allowed by the FD except new initiative of public diplomacy introduced to increase interaction with wide range of government and non-government opinion makers to create better understanding. An additional Rs 150 million is required for promoting and building soft image of Pakistan by missions abroad. FD has agreed to provide only Rs 15.00 millions for the purpose.
DG informed that year budget and expenditure under the demand 2015-16 Rs 2.157 billions for the delegations and employees related expenses and ministry expenditures up-to February remained Rs 1.134. The mission abroad for current financial year allocated Rs 11.673 and expenditures remained to Rs 7.460 billions. Up to March 2016 Rs 1.707 expenditures out of Rs 12.890 billions.
Committee also recommended parliamentary dialogue and visits between Pakistan and Maxico for enhancing cooperation and dialogue between the two countries.