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Sunday October 02, 2022

Imran, PTI leaders seem to back Shireen’s criticism of US envoy

By staying silent, Imran Khan and other PTI leaders have endorsed former federal minister Shireen Mazari’s criticism

August 08, 2022
Imran, PTI leaders seem to back Shireen’s criticism of US envoy

ISLAMABAD: By staying silent, Imran Khan and other PTI leaders have endorsed former federal minister Shireen Mazari’s criticism of US Ambassador Donald Blome’s visit of Torkham border in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Ironically, the PTI rules the province.

Well-placed diplomatic sources told The News Sunday that Ms Mazari has opted to offer comments after two days of the visit. The sources maintained that such visits by foreign dignitaries to Torkham are a decades’ old tradition, and there is nothing new about it.

They recalled that in Ayub Khan’s period in the early 60’s, British Queen Elizabeth and Duke of Edinburgh visited the area where former governor West Pakistan Nawab of Kalabagh hosted her and conducted the trip.

It is understood that Ms Mazari has given her reaction after political criticism by PTI opponents and the same has been issued with the consent of her party’s top leadership. The sources reminded that Ms Mazari’s comments are ironically untrue since hundreds of US satellites are flying in the orbit like those of other countries, which can take detailed pictures. Then why and how could a diplomat map the area through a chopper ride? Incidentally, the chopper belongs to Pakistan and was being flown by Pakistani pilots.

Pictures shared by Mazari showed Blome in a helicopter en route to Torkham border and being briefed by security officials. Later in the day, the former human rights minister responded to pictures being shared of the US envoy with KP Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra at a function of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) on Thursday for the handover of 36 vehicles to the provincial government. Mazari said an envoy going to “sensitive areas” and being provided access was “a security issue”, asking, “So is there a security agreement now in place with [the] US? We should know if there is,” Mazari questioned.

The sources reminded that the area visited by the US envoy is by no means a “No-Man’s Land” and no sensitivity is involved in it. The areas are open and foreign guests take the view of the historical Khyber Pass by sitting on a higher peak, which is specific for the purpose.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy has ignored Shireen Mazari’s observations. “We will have no comment. We think her comments speak for themselves,” said Nick Herish, the spokesperson of the embassy, to a query by The News on late Sunday evening.

The Foreign Office and KP government both are quiet about Ms Mazari’s remarks. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, who is attaining superannuation next month, and spokesman of the Foreign Office Aasim Iftikhar Ahmad, parried the query on Sunday evening. The sources pointed out that the US ambassador visited both the places in KP with prior intimation to the Foreign Office.

Comments

    Aamir Latif commented 2 months ago

    What else can crazy think, only negativities...

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    Love Your Country commented 2 months ago

    IK can make a U-turn anytime and FC and AO will spin it, so what is the problem here.

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    Love Your Country commented 2 months ago

    IK can make a U-turn anytime and FC and AO will spin it, so what is the problem here.

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    Nak commented 2 months ago

    Rightly so

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    nasser yousaf commented 2 months ago

    Imran has already justified taking U turns, hence nothing he says merits mention or in fact even reporting. He's not a man to value his words.

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