Pakistan's foreign minister Abdul Sattar resigns

  • From: "Muslim News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 9 Jun 2002 15:25:23 +0100

 Abdul Sattar - Pak foreign Sec

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar resigned on Thursday
citing health reasons, Islamabad based independent news agency Online
reported. The agency report said that Sattar has also requested Pakistan
President Pervez Musharraf to 'relieve him at the earliest'. 

Sattar recently underwent a complicated nasal surgery. The foreign
minister reportedly told Musharraf that the surgery had made it
difficult for him to discharge his duties. Sattar was inducted into
Musharraf's Cabinet in November 1999. 

He had previously served as foreign minister for three months in Moin
Qureshi's caretaker Cabinet in 1993. Sattar also served as ambassador to
Austria (1975-78), India (1978-82 and 1990-92) and to the Soviet Union

Among the important posts he held in the foreign office were director,
director general and additional secretary for Asia between 1982 and
1986, and as foreign secretary from 1986 to 1988. 

It may be mentioned here that for the last few months Foreign Minister
Abdul Sattar was not feeling comfortable in his office as the
self-appointed President had virtually rendered the whole Foreign Office

Practically the military government was not consulting the Foreign
Office on any issue including the hectic diplomatic activity in the
recent weeks over the standoff with India on Kashmir issue. 

“When the mood of the dictator formulates the foreign policy of the
country, then what is the need to have a foreign minister?” questioned
an analyst when asked to comment on the move by Abdul Sattar. 

Instead of letting the foreign office to express Pakistan’s stand on the
Kashmir and nuclear issues, the self-appointed President had himself
taken over all the jobs. 

Even if an Assistant Secretary of State from the United States,
equivalent to a Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs comes
to Islamabad, the self-appointed President and Chief Executive would
entertain him / her personally. 

The role of the Foreign Minister was literally reduced to a protocol
officer who only receives and sees off the foreign guests. 

In this situation the best option for Abdul Sattar, a career diplomat,
was to quit and according to the report by Online news agency, he has
conveyed his decision to the military dictator. 

It may be mentioned here that he was not happy with his assignment and
had conveyed his feelings to his military boss a few months ago but at
that time the general insisted that he should continue. 

Source:  Balochistan Post
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