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Pakistan shows displeasure to South Korea for holding seminar against third countries

Pakistan shows displeasure to South Korea for holding seminar against third countries


ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan has shown utmost displeasure to South Korean embassy in Islamabad for holding a seminar meant to target third countries i.e North Korea, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The high-level official of the Foreign Office conveyed this displeasure to the Ambassador of Korea in Pakistan, claimed MOFA sources.

It is noteworthy to highlight that South Korea hosted a seminar entitled “Empowering Women: Across Borders – North Korea and Afghanistan.” Initially, the event was intended to encompass Pakistan in its scope, but due to strong objections from the Pakistani authorities, South Korean organizers decided to exclude Pakistan from the title. Despite this adjustment, the seminar proceeded as planned and was held at the Marriott Hotel on January 23, 2024.

The sources have revealed that participants, including Zeshan Salahuddin, Samina Nazir, and Dr. Farah Naz, were unaware of the specific details of the discussions scheduled for the seminar. They anticipated engaging in a general discourse on women empowerment. However, to their astonishment, the moderator, Omrar Khalid Butt, allegedly hired by the South Korean embassy for a substantial fee to facilitate the seminar, compelled the panelists to express opinions against North Korea.

Expressing their surprise and discomfort, one of the panelists, speaking anonymously, stated, “It was quite unexpected when the moderator insisted that we speak against North Korea. We were unprepared for such a situation, as our intention was to share our general perspectives on women empowerment at the seminar.”

It is noteworthy that Mr. Yong Lee, identifying himself as the Counsellor/Political Affairs of the Korean embassy, displayed unwavering enthusiasm in championing the concept of the seminar. However, it is worth mentioning that his zeal stood in contrast to the lack of support from other embassy officials. This lack of endorsement resulted in the absence of any diplomats from the embassy at the seminar, with the sole exception being the Defence Attache.

Furthermore, an interesting observation was made as the panelists became aware of hidden agendas associated with the seminar. Subsequently, they started leaving the venue, signaling a disapproval of the underlying motives. The situation took an intriguing turn during lunch, where only the moderator, Mr. Lee, the Defence Attache, and a handful of students from the audience remained present. This shift in attendance underscored a disconnect between the initial objectives of the seminar and the perceptions of those involved.

Sources report that Afghanistan has strongly objected to both the title of the recent seminar and the manner in which Afghan women were addressed. According to Afghan officials, the discussions during the seminar were deemed inappropriate, and they express dissatisfaction with South Korean authorities, which allegedly attempted to intimidate its arch-rival, North Korea, by employing immoral tactics.

The aforementioned seminar has sparked a lively debate within Pakistan’s diplomatic and intellectual circles. The focal point of discussion revolves around the question of whether any foreign nation should be permitted to leverage Pakistani platforms as a battleground for resolving its conflicts with adversaries.

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