Qureshi pleads to be given reasons for his removal as FM

Shah Mahmood Qureshi has pleaded with the leadership for reasons for divesting him of the key portfolio of the foreign minister.

Updated: Feb 14, 2011, 22:59 PM IST

Islamabad: Apparently stung by his own
ruling PPP`s stonewalling, former minister Shah Mahmood
Qureshi has pleaded with the leadership for reasons for
divesting him of the key portfolio of the foreign minister.

Claiming that his heart was "broken" by the treatment
meted out to him by the Pakistan People`s Party leadership,
Qureshi has said what were his mistakes.

"My heart is broken. I have gone and pleaded with the
leadership. I have asked please please tell me why I am not
being given the portfolio of the foreign minister? I have
asked them what my mistake is. I need to know. I am not above
scrutiny, but what wrong did I commit?" Qureshi asked.

Qureshi said he was also "absolutely devastated" by
criticism from Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan, who
had linked his refusal to join the cabinet with an arrest
warrant issued by a court against former President Pervez
Musharraf in connection with Benazir Bhutto`s assassination.

Awan has sought to imply that Qureshi wants to "save"
Musharraf and that he is a "personal friend" of the former
military ruler.

"I cannot believe this. It is extremely sad that this
is coming from someone who was recently with the (PML-Q). In
fact, let the records speak for themselves," Qureshi told The
News daily.

Qureshi skipped the swearing-in ceremony for the new
cabinet on Friday after he learnt he would not be reallocated
the foreign affairs portfolio.

His subsequent comment to the media that a US official
arrested for killing two Pakistani men did not have diplomatic
immunity has also angered the PPP`s top leadership.

The former minister said the advice he received from
his legal team and senior officials at the Foreign Office was
that US official Raymond Davis did not enjoy unlimited
immunity under the law.

"How could I (say he had immunity) when the official
record did not certify Davis? How could he be handed over to
the Americans?" he asked.

Qureshi refuted media reports that he did not attend
a meeting between the President and a US Congressional
delegation that had demanded the release of Davis.

"This is not correct. I was there and I told them that
they are mishandling the issue. All this is a matter of
record," he said.

PTI