ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers have demanded constitution of a committee to legislate on the issue of appointment of commercial attaches (CAs) at Pakistani missions and embassies in different countries.
Due course of deliberations on other agenda items along with result-oriented performance of Commercial Attaches at a session of the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce and Textile Industry, members voiced against the ineffectiveness and weak performance of commercial attaches abroad.
The committee was told that a total 63 Pakistani trade missions were situated in some 42 countries of the world with five vacant seats of Minister (Trade) and Commercial Secretary at in five cities of Kandahar, Dhaka, Brussels, Moscow and Al-Khubar of five countries namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Belgium, Russia and Saudi Arabia respectively. They also criticised the government and Ministry of Commerce (MoC) for appointing commercial attaches on the basis of liking and disliking despite end of tenure of their service abroad. Thus the members agreed to form a committee to legislate on the issues pertaining to selection, appointment and others of the commercial attaches.
Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Commerce Engineer Khurram Dastgir said that formation of new policy for the appointment of officers as commercial counsellors and commercial attaches and others at Pakistani trade missions abroad was in progress and would likely be implemented in next year.
He said that a complete new badge of officers at Pakistani Trade Missions would be sent and all the sitting officers would be called back by the MoC. “As per new policy each commercial attaché will be appointed abroad for a non extendable three years’ term as well as every commercial attaché will be bound to serve at Ministry of Commerce for another three years’ term,” he said, adding that there were number of Commercial attaches and commercial counsellors who had been appointed at same station or country more than eight years’ term.
He said that it was also a common practice that officers from other departments by using influence get appointed at trade mission on deputation basis and then seek extension in their job contract, as these officers return home, they start struggle to get back to their parent departments after coming back from abroad.
“Therefore, no officer will be taken from other department on deputation and appointed at trade mission abroad and all officers would be taken from MoC and attached departments,” the minister said , adding that every officer would have to serve the concerned division of Foreign Trade at MoC after spending three years at Pakistani trade missions.
He further told that MoC had carried out a performance evaluation exercise of the officers appointed abroad at trade mission regarding their contribution in increasing Pakistani exports to other countries, which reflected that some 36 officers had performed well while performance of the remaining had been found below the criteria and unsatisfactory. He said that appointments of the officers of the new badge at trade missions would be made transparently and totally on the basis of commitment and devotion level shown by them during their service.