FO denies 'misleading' reports of Pakistani mangoes gifted to foreign dignitaries

Published June 13, 2021
A Foreign Office statement said the process of sending mangoes to selected countries is still under planning for the current year. — APP/File
A Foreign Office statement said the process of sending mangoes to selected countries is still under planning for the current year. — APP/File

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday rejected reports that the government had gifted Pakistani mangoes to a number of foreign dignitaries last week as "factually incorrect and misleading", saying the process for dispatching the much sought-after fruit was still underway.

“We have seen media reports regarding dispatch of Pakistani mangoes last week as [a] gift to some foreign dignitaries. We reject these reports as factually incorrect and misleading," a Foreign Office statement said.

The News had reported on Thursday that the FO was sending mangoes to state heads and government leaders of more than 32 countries on President Dr Arif Alvi's behalf as part of 'mango diplomacy'.

Citing sources, the report added that a number of countries, including the US and China, had refused to accept the mango dispatches and asked Pakistan to not send them due to "quarantine regulations".

It said the mangoes would also be sent to Iran, Gulf countries, Turkey, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Russia, while Canada, Nepal, Egypt and Sri Lanka were among the countries which had refused the gift.

A number of Indian media outlets, including NDTV and The New Indian Express, picked up the story quoting The News' report, with a headline reading "US, China Decline Pakistan's 'Mango Diplomacy', Send Back Fruit Souvenirs."

Commenting on the reports, the FO in its statement said "a section of the Indian media has carried wrong and irresponsible reports."

Explaining the government's mango diplomacy, the FO said: "Every year, the president of Pakistan sends high-quality mangoes as [a] gift to selected countries as part of goodwill and to promote our trade diplomacy efforts."

It noted that Pakistani mango exports had risen to $104 million in 2019-20 from $78m the previous year.

"The [MoFA] prepares a list of countries keeping in view quarantine regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements as well as availability of flights. Since last year, Covid-19-related stipulations are also part of the consideration," the statement said.

It clarified that the process for the current year was still in the planning stages and, therefore, "there is no question of dispatch of mangoes to any country.”


A velvet glove

A velvet glove

The general didn’t have an easy task when he took over, but in retrospect, he managed it rather well.


Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...
23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...