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Editorial: Pakistan needs a full time foreign minister

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has kept two important portfolios for himself i.e. Ministry of Defense and Foreign Affairs. It may be important for Mr. Nawaz Sharif to keep the Minister of Defense portfolio until a new Chief of Army Staff (COAS) is appointed in September but the country can not afford to operate without a full time foreign minister.

Pakistan’s frontline status in war on terror and its geopolitical situation require skillful diplomacy with extensive engagement with all our partners and allies. Pakistan has to take active part in Afghan negotiations as well as reengage India in bilateral negotiations. Pakistan’s relations with United States also require realignment as well as protest our interest in the ensuing cold war with Russia.

The issue is further complicated with two experienced diplomats Sartaj Aziz and Tariq Fatemi offer divergent views on most of these issues. It is imperative that a full time Foreign Minister should be appointed soon so that an effective presentation of Pakistan’s position can be done. Appointment of a foreign minister before the September UN General Assembly should be seriously considered by the PM Nawaz Sharif.

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