Beware, Foreign Diplomats: Tread Lightly With Your Words

## Foreign Envoys Cautioned on Public Comments

Islamabad, Pakistan – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has urged members of the diplomatic corps to adhere to diplomatic norms and exercise caution in their public statements within Pakistan.

### Diplomatic Norms and Cautious Engagement

MOFA Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch emphasized that diplomatic representatives are expected to respect diplomatic norms and be mindful of their comments, particularly regarding Pakistan’s domestic matters. “We hope they will exercise caution in making public comments,” she stated.

### Chief Justice’s Concerns on Electoral Conduct

The statement follows concerns raised by Chief Justice of Pakistan Omar Ata Bandial regarding remarks made by British High Commissioner Jane Marriott. During the Asma Jahangir Conference, Marriott had expressed reservations about the judiciary’s role in the February 8 general elections.

In response, the Chief Justice had conveyed that Marriott’s reservations were “unjustified.” Baloch declined to comment on the views of the Supreme Court or any advice provided by MOFA to the court.

### Prime Minister Sharif’s Visit to China

The Spokesperson announced that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will undertake an official visit to China from June 4-8, 2024, at the invitation of President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Qiang.

The visit will include meetings with Chinese leadership in Beijing and visits to Xi’an and Shenzhen. Sharif will discuss strengthening the Pakistan-China friendship, advancing the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, promoting trade and investment, and enhancing cooperation in various fields.

### Terrorism and Security Cooperation with China

In response to queries about terrorism, Baloch stated that Pakistan and China maintain ongoing discussions through various channels. “The two sides emphasize that no attempt to undermine Pakistan-China cooperation will ever succeed,” she said.

### Security Measures for Pakistan Cricket Team in US

Regarding threats against the Pakistani cricket team by the Islamic State Khorasan, Baloch asserted that Pakistan remains in contact with US authorities to facilitate the team’s visit. “We expect the US government to fully provide security,” she said.

### Online Bullying and Freedom of Expression

Commenting on online bullying and misogynistic attacks against journalists, Baloch condemned such practices. She urged the European Union to be equally vocal about journalists facing restrictions in Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir and Gaza, highlighting double standards in protecting freedom of expression.