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October 5, 2019

‘FM paying for design cost of FO website from own pocket’

National

October 5, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has decided to pay for the design cost of the new Foreign Office website from his own pocket as a token of his appreciation and commitment to the Foreign Office and its personnel.

The assigned company has neither family link nor personal relationship with the foreign minister, and attempts to malign such constructive measures are regrettable. This rather intriguing clarification came from the office of the minister Friday in response to reports that a ‘favourite’ was given the contract for the work without calling for any public tenders.

“There is no government/public funding involved in the design cost. The foreign minister is personally paying the design cost as a token of his appreciation and commitment to the Foreign Office and its personnel,” his office clarified.

Throughout his carrier as a politician there has never been any financial mismanagement scandal attached to his name.

The statement from the Foreign Office said that the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is its primary public interface; and an open platform. The foreign minister’s decision to have the website upgraded is in line with his vision of leading the Foreign Office into the modern and innovative digital age and making the Foreign Office website more user-friendly. The ministry is, therefore, currently working on its improved and updated version.

“The new layout of the publicly open website is being designed by a reputed web designing company, which was assigned the task on purely professional basis in view of requirement for specialised external design expertise. The assigned company has neither family link nor personal relationship with the foreign minister. It is a specialised digital design agency,” added the statement.

In his address to all the officers of the Foreign Ministry on October 02, the foreign minister announced that the new web design for which he would personally bear the cost would be his “gift to the ministry and its officers”.

The information contained in the Foreign Office website is not classified, as it is for the facilitation of the general public, not just in Pakistan but also globally. There is no question of security being compromised in any event given that the website redesign team is simply graphically redesigning the site based on publicly available content on the existing website.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will continue to undertake improvements and upgradation in all areas, as required, said the statement.

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