Foreign Relations Committee chairman praises Zakaria for his diplomacy

  • Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar says FO spokesperson set new pedestal for successors by reforming art of diplomacy

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Relations Committee of the National Assembly Chairman Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar on Wednesday showered praises on Mohammed Nafees Zakaria, the outgoing spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), saying that Zakaria had set a new pedestal for his successors by reforming the art of diplomacy in the fast-changing regional and international environment.

Speaking to a select group of journalists and former diplomats here at a farewell luncheon meeting he hosted to honour the services of Zakaria, who has been appointed new envoy for Pakistan to Malaysia, Khusro Bakhtiar said that Pakistan is faced with new challenges as the world attention has centered around Asia which is home to rising economies like China, Pakistan, India, South Korea, Bangladesh and others.

Ambassador Shahid Kamal and Dr Raffat Hussain were also present on the occasion.

Khusro, who has recently been elected as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said that he had a unique experience of working with many talented officers in the ministry of foreign affairs back in 2002-2007, and Zakaria was one of them.

“Working as minister of state for foreign affairs, I found out that Nafees is a different breed. He is sharp, intelligent and workaholic. These straits transformed him into one of the finest diplomats we have had,” he said. He added, “I am confident that with Nafees in Kuala Lumpur, our relations with Malaysia are going to be transformed in the near future and we will soon find Jakarta as the most strategic capital for Pakistan.”

He said that the manner Nafees Zakaria had interacted with the media had helped build new narratives for the cause of Pakistan which was unprecedented in the diplomatic experiences he had.

Khusro said that the emerging challenges not only require Pakistan’s Foreign Service to depart from the stereotypes and adopt a proactive approach, but also it is incumbent upon the parliamentarians and the cabinet members to prepare themselves according to the challenging environment.

He said that “as a proud parliamentarian, I believe in serving the national cause with my utmost abilities, in the footsteps of my father who himself was a parliamentarian.”  He added that as the committee chairman, he would employ all modern tools to help the government build new narratives to fight the cause of the country.

He also urged the media to assist the country in helping to achieve a new model of diplomacy as the country was already transforming in the economic sector and emerging as an ‘Asian Tiger’.

Earlier, Nafees Zakaria expressed gratitude to Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar saying that he had a great experience of working with him during both his stints and had learnt a lot from the young dynamic parliamentarian.

Zakaria, who is all set to leave for Malaysia to take up his new assignment next week, said that working with parliamentarians has always been an exquisite experience and he had always found Khusro Bakhtiar a dynamic, patriotic and diligent parliamentarian who was always ready to work for the cause of Pakistan.