Pakistan invitation

Updated 15 November 2012
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Pakistan invitation

This is in reference to the story, “Bangladesh PM turns down Pakistan summit invitation”(Nov. 14). Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s cancellation of Pakistan visit to Islamabad in connection with the upcoming D-8 summit has raised more questions than answers.

What seems intriguing is the abruptness of the prime minister’s decision to call off the visit after she had accepted the invitation that was extended by Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar during her brief visit to Dhaka. In fact, the prime minister’s press secretary had informed that she would visit Islamabad on Nov. 21 and attend the summit which is scheduled to be held on Nov. 22. Reportedly, her close colleagues advised her against the visit in view of what they perceived as security risks.

I think Hasina’s security concerns are a genuine issue and one that must always be given high priority. Her stand against extremist forces makes her particularly vulnerable in countries like Pakistan where extremists often play havoc with security bastions. However, if security reasons have prompted cancellation of the visit then why weren’t these given due consideration before conveying a positive response in the first place? We think the PM was badly served by her staff.

The manner in which the matter has been handled is very disturbing. What message does it convey to the diplomatic circles at home and abroad? What is worrying is that the visit was not a bilateral one. Countries with important trade prospects like Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and Iran are also a part of the D-8 group.

The Bangladesh Foreign Ministry must be very careful about planning foreign visits by their head of the government as this kind of unpredictability in their diplomatic behavior at the top level may tell upon their foreign relations and credibility abroad. — Naser Mullah, Riyadh


Cartoon in bad taste

Updated 07 August 2017
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Cartoon in bad taste

I wish to use my “right of reply” to complain about the unfortunate caricature that appeared on Aug. 5, 2017, in your well-known newspaper. The cartoon represents President Nicolas Maduro sitting on a military tank and a hand coming out of the tank’s cannon writing on a book titled “New Constitution.” Such a caricature is offensive to my country.
What the caricature seems to imply is that President Maduro wants to rewrite a new constitution with the power of arms. This is totally false. It is immoral to give your readers such a forged image of Venezuela and its constitutionally- and democratically-elected government.
The revision of our constitution, which is among the best in the world, is mainly to reinforce it and make it more adaptable to the new times. It is not an imposition of our president; it has been backed by more than 8 million Venezuelans and has the objective of re-establishing the peace process that has been trampled by a violent opposition backed by interested foreign countries that pretend to give orders to our sovereign populace.
I fail to understand why some international media report fake news about my country, with the purpose of undermining our sovereignty, and the people of Venezuela’s absolute right to decide, in a free and independent manner, how it wants to conduct its internal affairs.
I invite your newspaper to inform about our country with the truth and the same respect that we, in Venezuela, treat to our brothers of Saudi Arabia.

Joseba Achutegui
Ambassador of Venezuela
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia