Pakistan’s boycott of France isn’t going quite as planned.
The Pakistani Parliament, the National Assembly, today passed a resolution to recall its French envoy. The move was meant to send a stern message to France for speaking up for the beheaded teacher Samuel Paty, who’d shown his class the controversial Charlie Hebdo cartoons. Pakistan’s National Assembly today unanimously passed the resolution to recall its ambassador, and hoped that its diplomatic masterstroke would strike terror in French hearts.
It was after the resolution had been passed that the Parliament, to its dismay, discovered that Pakistan didn’t have an ambassador in France.
As it turns out, Moin-ul-Haq, who’d been Pakistan’s ambassador to France, had been transferred to China three months ago, and had long left French shores. Pakistan’s Foreign Office had failed to name a replacement in the intervening period, which meant that Pakistan had no current ambassador to France who could be haughtily recalled to protest French policies.
Incredibly, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who ought to have been aware of the status of the country’s French ambassador, was among the movers of the resolution in the National Assembly on Monday evening. “He didn’t oblige the house by passing on the information amid heat of discussion regarding the situation,” Pakistan-based outlet The News sheepishly reported.