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PM approves 18-member advisory council to offer recommendations for foreign policy

Updated December 28, 2018

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All members approved by the prime minister will serve on an honorary basis without affecting or burdening the state treasury. —APP/File
All members approved by the prime minister will serve on an honorary basis without affecting or burdening the state treasury. —APP/File

Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved the formation of an advisory council which will give recommendations to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on issues related to foreign policy.

The approval was granted on December 24 following which a notification was released on Friday by the ministry listing the 18 members which will form the council. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will head the advisory body.

In addition to former ambassadors and foreign secretaries, experts from academia have also been appointed so that they may share the results of research carried out by their respective institutions which will benefit the formation of foreign policy.

Issues such as national resource constraints and other economic issues will be given special attention, read a statement issued by the Foreign Office.

"One criticism which we often face is that our foreign policy always focuses on defence, and economic issues are overlooked. Keeping this in mind, we have included individuals who are associated with the fields of economics and trade," the Foreign Office said.

Not only has the foreign office been attached to the council but institutions like the Foreign Services Academy will also be associated with the council, it added.

The Foreign Office further stated that a meeting of the advisory council will soon be held in which all the rules and regulations formulated will be presented after which the process of holding regular meetings will continue.

The statement also sought to make clear the fact that all members have been appointed and will serve on an honorary basis without affecting or burdening the state treasury.