Amid the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict, more than 2000 Pakistani nationals including 600 students are still stranded in Kyiv and other cities of Ukraine. Ironically for stranded Pakistani nationals and students, the Russian mounted an attack the day Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in Moscow on a 2-day visit.
The reports said that by February 26, the Pakistan government could manage only 116 Pakistanis including 21 family members of the embassy staff and 35 students. Pak students in large numbers are stuck in Kharkiv.
Stranded Pakistani workers and students accused Pakistani Embassy and Ambassador Major General (retired) Noel Israel Khokhar of cheating them and alleged that they are moving towards the borders of Romania, Poland and Hungary on their own without any assistance from the Pak Embassy.
Pakistanis have been asked to gather at Ternopil for their transportation to Poland. Pakistan Embassy has temporarily shifted to Ternopil. Family members of stranded students alleged that Pak authorities and the embassy are apathetic to their increasing concern, the report said.
Except for the Pakistani elite including rulers, senior civil and military officers and top businessmen and industrialists, Pakistanis as well as overseas Pakistanis in general view Pak diplomatic missions abroad in a scornful way.
Commenting on the state of affairs in Pak missions, a Pakistani media personality, having deep access to foreign office hierarchy suggested that the performance audit of Pak embassies and diplomatic missions spreading all over the world is urgently required to be carried out to find the service they are providing to the Pakistanis and overseas Pakistanis.
This audit result will definitely be not above 5- 6 per cent if it is not a big zero. In connection with the situation in war-hit Ukraine, he said that the staff and diplomats in the Pak embassy in Ukraine are still indifferent to tackling aggravating conditions of Pakistani students studying there. Despite hue and cry by Pakistanis and media after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Pak embassy staff appears unmoved. All Pakistani students complain that the Pak embassy is not providing any help or assistance to them.
People of Pakistan who had bitter memories of Pak diplomats and staff in China in tackling the same kind of crisis during the breakout of the COVID-19 pandemic have urged the Pak government to suspend all officers and staffers of the embassy and call them back to Pakistan as soon as Pakistani students return home. It will set an example for Pak embassies in other countries to take their diplomatic obligations sincerely, the report said.
A political observer of Pakistan informed that whenever he visited the US, UK, Europe, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, UAE etc., Pakistanis always expressed their grievances about the arrogant treatment meted out to them by their embassies and diplomats.
He also visited some embassies and diplomatic missions, where he found the same situation, which generally prevails in all government departments of Pakistan. There is no one to address their grievances. Those who visit Pak embassies are treated in such a way as if they are being obliged. Overseas Pakistanis generally complain that Pak diplomats and staff members misbehave with them. They blatantly misuse their official power and display arrogance and stubbornness, instead of carrying out their required duties.
Educated and ambitious segments of Pakistani society consider postings abroad as highly lucrative and for making money, spending vacations and ensuring citizenship of the countries they will be posted as diplomats, for their children. On the other hand, diplomats of other countries hold meetings and establish contacts with government functionaries and business companies of the countries they are posted to for bringing business and investment from the host countries, said the report.
Contrary to it, diplomats and staff members of Pak embassies enjoy western-styled parties and consider it as their insult to meet the business class of the country they are posted to. As far as overseas Pakistanis are concerned, they don’t want to see their faces. Diplomats and other staff members are appointed in Pak embassies abroad on the basis of recommendations and nepotism, the report added.
It further reported that foreign postings are considered a great source of income, instead of serving the people. Pakistanis, who have been victims of Pak embassies’ insensitive attitude, regretted that Pakistani diplomats are never asked as to what they have done for Pakistan and overseas Pakistanis. Pak embassies are not subjected to a performance audit.
Their performance is judged on this parameter. It is also a tradition that every government appoints their favourites as ambassadors for rewarding them. It doesn’t matter that they don’t know anything about diplomacy. Likewise, a quota is allocated for retired generals with the objective of rewarding favourite people. There is no such system through which the work and performance of Pak embassies are monitored on regular basis.
A poor country like Pakistan spends trillions of rupees annually on its embassies and diplomats and if this system cannot provide any help to Pakistanis living abroad in difficult times, what are the need for such embassies and diplomatic missions? It is totally unprofitable deal that these embassies are kept intact only for this purpose that favourite diplomats and staff continue getting lucrative postings and minting money. Their children get an education and citizenship of the countries they are living in. In exchange, they continue providing the best protocols to the Pakistani elite with the hard-earned money of Pakistani taxpayers, the report added.