|GOOD FOR FAVOURED PAKISTANIS. UNFAIR TO PAKISTAN.
15 December 2004
When the name of someone with a track record like Ambassador Munir Akram is mentioned as candidate to
head UNCTAD, a general response is: "What? One more Pakistani?!" Names are then listed of several
nationalities who -- it is generally assumed -- found their way through the Secretary General's
Chef de Cabinet, their compatriot Iqbal Riza.
The upshot of it is that with an unfair backlash and an overflowed quota, doors are almost closed
for outstanding citizens of that proud and misunderstood country. Unless personally favoured, no
qualified Pakistani can find his or her way to a meaningful posting. At U.N. headquarters alone,
there is an impressive number of Pakistani journalists, none of whom was seriously considered for
a regular assignment. Take the Vienna example. Broadcasting networks in Europe (particularly
London) and elsewhere are loaded with Pakistani men and women of the highest calibre. Why did it have
to be Nasrat Hassan? It gives the impression of favouritism while blocking the visibility of those who
will certainly raise the name and flag to the highest professional horizons. So many qualified young
Pakistanis roam world capitals accepting jobs below their talents because they have no other choice.
Does Pakistani youth have to be exclusively represented by Imran Iqbal Riza?!
Pakistan, like India for that matter, is an unflinchingly loyal U.N. country. Its decent creative
talented people deserve a better reputation at U.N. headquarters and wider opportunities at all
levels for all ages throughout the U.N. system. Otherwise, imposing a limited few in some visibly
embarrassing jobs may be good for few selected Pakistanis. But is it unfair to Pakistan.