Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to award the top 10 performing ministries in government has reportedly bruised the egos of ministers who were not recognised and stoked resentment within the overlooked government departments.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi wrote a letter to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Establishment Arbab Shahzad questioning the evaluation criteria of the awarded certificates after the Foreign Ministry was ranked at the 11th spot.
In his letter, Qureshi note that his ministry had achieved 22 out of the 26 targets set for it in the first quarter and at least 75 per cent of the remaining four targets – higher than the completion rate of all ministries at 62 per cent. Qureshi also highlighted the ministry’s high-stakes work in diplomatic outreach to Afghanistan and hosting the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) session in Islamabad.
“We were certainly shocked to see that the foreign ministry was not even listed in the top 10 best performing ministries,” an foreign office official told the Tribune. “But to see the Foreign Office being ignored like this is demoralising.”
Insider sources told Dawn that allies to the government the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), which holds the IT and housing ministries, respectively, were also peeved at not receiving their deserved recognition.
The ministries that did receive awards were: Communications (Murad Saeed); Planning and Development (Asad Umar); Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (Dr Sania Nishtar); Education and Professional Training (Shafqat Mahmood); Human Rights (Dr Shireen Mazari); Industries and Production (Khusro Bakhtiar); National Security Division (Dr Moeed Yusuf); Commerce (Abdul Razak Dawood); Interior (Sheikh Rashid Ahmed); and National Food Security and Research (Syed Fakhar Imam).