Cuba ambassador miffed at Iqbal’s ‘disrespectful’ jab

ISLAMABAD: Zéner Javier Caro, ambassador of Cuba in Islamabad, on Monday accused Minister of Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal of being “disrespectful” towards his country after the latter said his government did not want Pakistan to turn into the sanctions-hit island nation or North Korea.

Iqbal, who on Sunday blamed former prime minister Imran Khan for “playing with Pakistan’s interests” to keep his “failed politics” alive, said the administration of Shehbaz Sharif intended to set Pakistan on the path of development like Turkey, China and South Korea.

He added that he did not want Islamabad to turn into Havana or Pyongyang.

Responding to Iqbal’s comments, Caro tweeted: “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.”

Following the Cuban ambassador’s tweet and criticism by journalists and civil society activists, the minister clarified that his remarks were “only in the context of foreign policy”.

“Excellency! We have deep respect for the people of Cuba and our deep affectionate relations with Cuba,” he said, adding that Pakistan couldn’t forget how Cuban doctors played a heroic role during the aftermath of the deadly 2005 earthquake in Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Commenting on the development, professor and activist Ammar Ali Jan demanded an apology from Iqbal.

“Cuba is a symbol of resistance [and] solidarity […] @betterpakistan should apologise for his comments.”

Slamming the minister, Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MP Shireen Mazari said her party was “ashamed of this US apologist who has been placed in govt thru a US-initiated regime change conspiracy — a govt totally rejected by the [people] of Pakistan.”

“We hold Cuba in greatest respect & admiration esp it’s steadfast defiance of US targeting being done in violation of [international law].”

The post Cuba ambassador miffed at Iqbal’s ‘disrespectful’ jab appeared first on Pakistan Today.

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