Cuban envoy calls out Pak minister
ISLAMABAD: Cuba’s Ambassador to Pakistan, Zener Caro, in late April called out Pakistan’s Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives, Ahsan Iqbal, for his “disrespectful” remarks on Cuba made during a press conference in Lahore, Dawn reported.
At a media talk, Iqbal had said that Pakistan wanted to become a strong country for which it needed a strong economy and positioning with the global economy. He said he did not want Pakistan to turn into Cuba or North Korea. “We have to set Pakistan on the path of development like Malaysia, Turkey, China and South Korea,” the minister said. Responding to Iqbal’s comments, Caro tweeted in April, “Fortunately, Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s disrespectful mention of Cuba in his press conference in Lahore does not represent and has nothing to do with Pakistanis’ true respect and deep affection for Cuba.” Earlier, journalists and activists on Twitter had also criticised the minister for his remarks, recalling Cuba’s support for Pakistan in tough times, Dawn reported. Following the Cuban ambassador’s tweet, the federal minister took to Twitter and clarified that his remarks were made “only in the context of foreign policy”. “We have deep respect for the people of Cuba and our deep affectionate relations with Cuba,” Iqbal said, adding that Pakistan couldn’t forget how Cuban doctors played a heroic role during the aftermath of the 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.