Shah Mehmood Qureshi stopped FO from issuing demarche to US envoy: Hina Rabbani

  • Asad Majeed professionally performed his duty, says Hina Rabbani Khar.
  • Minister says Asad Majeed had recommended to issue demarche but Qureshi stopped FO.
  • FO says Asad Majeed’s briefing is reflected in NSC statement.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar Friday said that ex-foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was informed about the cable immediately but he stopped the Foreign Office from issuing a demarche to the US envoy, adding that the ministry came under pressure due to the politicisation of the matter by the PTI government.

The minister’s remarks came after a meeting of the National Security Committee (NSC) once again ruled out a foreign agenda behind the ouster of the PTI-led government in a setback to ex-prime minister Imran Khan’s narrative of a “regime change conspiracy”.

Speaking about ‘cypher’ on Geo News program Aaj Shahzaib Khanzada Kay Saath, Hina Rabbani Khar said Asad Majeed’s interaction with the US official Donald Lu was not a delegation-level meeting.

Talking about the contents of the cable, Hina Rabbani said the Pakistani diplomat had given his assessment in which he recommended issuing a demarche to the US ambassador in Islamabad based on the ‘luncheon’ discussion with Donald Lu.

“In his assessment, Asad Majeed further recommended the Foreign Office to call US ambassador and ask that whatever the US diplomat Donald Lu had said was his personal opinion about Pakistan or the US government’s stance,” she added.

She further said that former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had been informed about the cypher immediately, but on his instructions demarche was not issued by the Foreign Office.

Hina Rabbani said that Asad Majeed had sent recommendations in a very professional manner but the matter was politicised by the then government.

‘Pakistan’s foreign ministry came under severe pressure due to the mishandling of the issue,’ she added.

In a separate statement issued in response to media queries regarding Ambassador Asad Majeed Khan’s remarks at the NSC meeting, the Foreign Office Spokesperson clarified that the envoy briefed the participants about the context and content of the Cypher Telegram in question, and shared his professional assessment.

“His briefing and assessment are accurately reflected in the statement issued at the conclusion of the NSC meeting today,” it added.

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