A Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meeting has revealed that bureaucrats in the Pakistan Foreign Office are allegedly not adjusting huge public funds allocated for promotion of the Kashmir cause. The revelation came during the proceedings of a PAC meeting held at the Parliament House on Wednesday. PAC member Shafqat Mehmood during the meeting presided by Naveed Qamar in the absence of its chairman Syed Khurshid Shah questioned the method of expenditure of public funds for promoting the Kashmir cause and sought details of the expenditure. However, the issue could not be debated further due its sensitive nature.
During the discussion, it emerged that former foreign minister Hinna Rabbani Khar and Nawabzada Amadullah Khan are among those diplomats including Ather Mehmood, Abdul Jalil and Zeshan Haider Rizvi who allegedly received huge public funds in the names of travelling allowance, reports The Daily Times. The Auditor General of Pakistan informed the PAC that the Pakistan Embassy at Washington DC borrowed Rs. 90 million loan in 2013-14 when the Pakistan People’s Party was ruling the country. The loan was taken from a Pakistani bank for construction of building without the Economic Affairs Division’s approval when Shireen Rehman was Pakistan’s envoy to the United States. Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry during the meeting said that only USD 15 million loan was received from the Pakistani bank and only USD 2.3 million loan remains to be paid.
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The PAC forbade the Foreign Secretary from taking more loan from the banks, saying it is not the business of the diplomats to borrow money. The PAC stated that it was the Finance Ministry’s task to provide capital to the state functionaries for different projects. The PAC expressed its ire over the lack of a proper financial system in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which gave enough space to the corrupt mafia for committing financial irregularities.
The Foreign Secretary informed the PAC members that a sufficient amount had been retrieved by taking strict line of action from the diplomats, who allegedly misused public money. He pledged that all plundered money would be retrieved and deposited in the national exchequer. Chaudhry stated that only five Pakistani missions abroad have hired the services of competent accounts experts while the remaining 117 missions are maintaining their fiscal accounts through manual methods.