Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved five new diplomatic missions to target dynamic business regions by enhancing trade cooperation and investment between Pakistan and those regions. These missions would be opened in known cities of the United States of America, Germany, Turkey, and Iraq, officials said.
"We proposed the establishment of consulate generals in Atlanta, Munich, Naples, Najaf, and Karbala. Premier Imran Khan approved this proposal for the establishment of a consulate in Munich and others. The Prime Minister's House on recommendations of MoFA endorsed proposals for opening rest of the missions accordingly," a senior official of the Foreign Office told this correspondent on Tuesday.
According to Thenews.com.pk, the development comes months after Islamabad decided to open four diplomatic missions in West Africa, which included missions in Male, Kampala, Burkina Faso, and Benin. Currently, around 114 missions of Pakistan are operating in some 87 countries. Thousands of Pakistanis from Munich, Atlanta, Naples, Najaf, and Karbala were approaching MoFA to open missions for their facilitation in these cities, officials said. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) informed the Lower House of Parliament that Islamabad required an independent mission in Munich and its surrounding areas in the southern German state of Bavaria. The MoFA sought the help of the prime minister for establishing a consulate in one of Europe’s most dynamic business regions to enhance trade cooperation and investment between Pakistan and this region. The MoFA, in response to a question asked by MNA James Iqbal, informed the House that Bavaria is also home to a sizeable Pakistani community numbering approximately 35,000, including students, businessmen, and white-collared jobholders, and approximately 15,000 German nationals of Pakistani origin. "Owing to its economic potential and a large number of Pakistani diaspora there, there is a need to establish a consulate general and the prime minister has given his in-principle approval," MoFA told the Parliament. Currently, Bavaria falls under the jurisdiction of the consulate in Frankfurt (400 kms from Munich)m which is unable to adequately cater to the needs of the community due to its distance from Munich, the MoFA said.
On the two important missions to be opened up in two main cities of Iraq, MoFA informed the National Assembly that over 200,000 devotees (zaireen) visit Najaf and Karbala every year and a sizeable number of Pakistani students pursue religious studies there. Hence, to cater to their consular needs, the establishment of consulates has been proposed, added the MoFA's response.