The Foreign Office said in a statement on Thursday that Pakistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia had returned to the country, and that instructions had been given to six other officers of the embassy in Riyadh to do the same in response to complaints from the kingdom’s Pakistani community.
According to the statement, Prime Minister Imran Khan has ordered an investigation and his directives are being followed.
“A high-powered investigation committee will look into the case,” the statement continued.
According to the FO, the six officers who were given recall orders served in the embassy’s diplomatic, human service, and consular wings.
“Pakistan’s government places a high value on the well-being of Pakistanis living abroad. There is no tolerance for any lapse in public service delivery “According to the statement, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi personally oversaw the operation of all diplomatic missions, especially those providing services to the Pakistani community.
“All Pakistani missions around the world have standing orders to provide full assistance to the Pakistani community in their respective jurisdictions.”
According to a statement released by the Prime Minister’s Office, the Prime Minister “has taken a severe view of the situation” after “being cognizant of the complaints submitted to him by the Diaspora in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and while expressing his dissatisfaction on the results, conduct, and behaviour of officers posted in Pakistan’s Embassy/ Consulates in Saudi Arabia.”
According to the statement, the premier has directed the Prime Minister’s Inspection Commission to investigate the matter and come back within 15 days.
The following tasks have been assigned to the committee:
- Inefficiency in the provision of services to overseas Pakistanis in KSA
- Extorting and fleecing our expatriate workers and overseas Pakistanis, causing delays on one pretext or another, resulting in extraction under duress
- Examination of existing complaint resolution mechanism, if any and failure to resolve problems of Pakistani community in KSA
- Examination of SOPs in place to provide services and as to whether the SOPs provided relief or resulted in impediments in service delivery
- Implementation of Prime Minister’s directives, issued from time to time, to improve the quality and efficiency of service delivery
- Fixing responsibility on the officers responsible, directly and in a supervisory capacity
- Recommendations to improve the provision of services to overseas Pakistanis and expatriate workers based in KSA.
Furthermore, the statement said that the former Ambassador to KSA, Raja Ali Ijaz, had been suspended and that all personnel who worked with the public at the Pakistani embassy and consulates in KSA would be recalled and the replacement process would begin immediately.
Meanwhile, retired Lt General Bilal Akbar, Pakistan’s new ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, delivered his credentials to the chief protocol officer at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Thursday, after which he assumed the charge.