We throw punches above our weight: FM Qureshi

By Staff Reporter
Thursday – February 11, 2021
ISLAMABAD: The foreign minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi said, Wednesday, it is cliched, but true that Pakistani diplomacy often punches above its weight, the legacy has to be carried forward, evolved and made even more productive, we can do this only by maintaining the spirit, while adding to the substance, and changing and evolving to meet contemporary requirements.

According to a press release, the FM delivered a speech during the graduation ceremony of the 40th specialised diplomatic course, at the foreign service academy (FSA), in the federal capital.

FM Qureshi continued, “It is said that diplomacy is not just a profession, or vocation. It is a lifestyle, a way of looking at things, and a calling. The foreign service of Pakistan has a rich and honourable legacy of delivery for the country and its interests.”

He cautioned, “The world is in a state of flux. The only certainty is that there is no certainty. What was a “given” yesterday, cannot be taken for granted today! The cycle of history is coming full circle.”

FM Qureshi educated, “The old world, the world of the twentieth century is perhaps unwinding, and giving way to a new era, with new opportunities and new threats.”

He conveyed, “As you enter the service, you will be required to navigate the geopolitical rapids, safeguard and advance national interests in a myriad different ways, and tackle the emerging challenges. This is a heavy brief. Never take your responsibilities and the expectations that the nation and the institution has of you, lightly.”

FM Qureshi reminded, “As FM, capacity building including through the FSA has been among my foremost priorities. Thanks to our Chinese friends, I am happy that we were able to secure for you this premises offering far greater possibilities for intellectual pursuits, cultural activities and maintaining physical fitness.”

He instructed, “You are to adopt digital technologies, modern means and tools of communication and networking to achieve goals more efficiently and effectively.”

FM Qureshi expressed, “I want our diplomats to be articulate, effective team members who think outside the box in order to find solutions and deliver results. However, when you do speak, it must reflect wisdom and intellect rather than emotions.”

He highlighted, “At the institutional level, the foreign office (FO) is now speaking differently and with greater effect. In addition to words, we are employing images, graphics and videos to better communicate with a wider array of audiences.”

FM Qureshi introduced, “Specialised cells and divisions, namely, the strategic communication division, the Kashmir cell and crisis management cell are now operational.”

He recalled, “I would like our young diplomats to remember what the father of the nation, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had said regarding the foreign policy of Pakistan” quoting “Our object should be peace within and peace without. We want to live peacefully and maintain cordial and friendly relations with our immediate neighbours and with the world at large. We have no aggressive designs against anyone. We stand by the united nations (UN) charter and will gladly make our full contribution to the peace and prosperity of the world.”

The foreign secretary Sohail Mahmood, FSA director general (DG) Imran Ahmed Mirza, the FO officers and participants of the 40th specialised diplomatic course attended the event.