ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) vice chairman and former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has refuted the opposition’s claim that the controversial diplomatic cable is fake or drafted at the Foreign Office and termed it “genuine and based on facts”.
Speaking at a news conference here on Wednesday, Mr Qureshi defended Pakistan’s former ambassador to US Asad Majeed who had sent the controversial cable claiming the US role in the opposition’s vote of no-confidence against interim Prime Minister Imran Khan and declared him a seasoned and experienced diplomat.
He also denied reports that Mr Majeed had been hastily transferred to Brussels (Belgium), saying he had been given the new assignment after he had completed his tenure in Washington as the ambassador.
Mr Qureshi asked the opposition to refrain from casting doubts on the capability and talent of officers of the Foreign Office as they were serving the nation with utmost sincerity.
Role of former ambassador to US Asad Majeed defended
He said the diplomats at the Foreign Office were professional people and they should not be unnecessarily criticised.
The PTI leader asserted that his party believed in respect and supremacy of the Constitution. He said the PTI had been striving hard to depoliticise the country’s institutions and urged the opposition parties to wait for the verdict of the Supreme Court pertaining to the ruling of NA Deputy Speaker Qasim Suri.
Mr Qureshi said the PTI recognised the Opposition’s right to move the no-confidence resolution against the prime minister. He said that after completion of the assembly procedure, the resolution had been put on the assembly’s agenda for its sitting on April 3. However, he said, when the deputy speaker came to know about the facts, he said there was need for an investigation into the matter and disallowed the motion on the basis of the information he had received.
The PTI leader said whether Mr Suri’s ruling was constitutional or not it would be decided by the Supreme Court. He, however, claimed that the deputy speaker had not issued the ruling without a reason.
Mr Qureshi said that the National Security Committee (NSC) after reviewing the entire issue had decided that it should issue a demarche. He said there must be some reason for the NSC to decide about issuance of the demarche.
He criticised opposition parties for their decision to boycott the parliamentary committee on national security meeting that had been convened by National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser to take up the matter.
He said the speaker had invited all parliamentary leaders, but the opposition members did not turn up. He said the opposition members should have attended the meeting and raised questions there.
The PTI leader said that diplomats met people but there was a need to find out with whom these diplomats met in the country. Some meetings, he said, were held abroad and there was a need to study those meetings as well.
Mr Qureshi said the court could issue a directive for a judicial commission to investigate the matter.
Also, talking to the media, PTI secretary general Asad Umar said given the current political situation, it was the most sagacious decision by Imran Khan to announce new elections. He asked other political parties to compete with the PTI in elections.
Published in Dawn, April 7th, 2022