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Thursday February 09, 2023

FIFA World Cup: Hina Rabbani likely to represent Pakistan at Doha

November 26, 2022

ISLAMABAD: Will Pakistan be represented at a senior level by the Foreign Office to watch the FIFA World Cup in Doha before the games close down in the second week of December?

Invitations had been received by the Foreign Office even before the World Cup started with the inaugural being attended by world leaders, including Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman whose home team scored an unbelievable and unforgettable win against the champions Argentina.

Diplomatic sources in Doha told The News that a programme was being finalised for Minister of State Hina Rabbani Khar to visit Doha to attend the World Cup in the first week of December. “Dates are still being finalised,” maintain the sources. Apart from an official invitation from the Qatar government, the Ambassador of Qatar in Islamabad, Saoud Abdulrahman Al-Thani, on Thursday called on Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and conveyed an invitation from his Qatari counterpart to watch the World Cup.

Sources said it was important for Pakistan to show solidarity with a fellow Muslim state which was the first to hold the World Cup and which was being attacked by some world capitals, INGOs and even the media over alleged human rights record. This is questionable at a time when there is no country or government anywhere that is not criticised for its human rights injustices.

Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif was the first here who in a Tweet supported Qatar by tweeting, “Unfortunate that Qatar is being subjected to a barrage of propaganda as host of FIFA World Cup. It should be rather commended for wonderful arrangements for the mega event and being a promoter of global peace and development. Pakistan stands in solidarity with HH Emir and the people of Qatar.”

In Islamabad, it was the German Ambassador Alfred Grannas, who in a short Tweet displayed the Sialkot-made football exported in lakhs to the World Cup. “Every goal is a Pakistani goal,” he tweeted.

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