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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Pakistan issues démarche to Canada over MP’s remarks against COAS Bajwa

Foreign Office says Canadian Member of Parliament Tom Kmiec's remarks were undiplomatic and highly irresponsible.

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The Foreign Office on Thursday summoned The Canadian high commissioner to Pakistan to protest Canadian MP Tom Kmiec’s “irresponsible and undiplomatic” remarks against Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa.

Lodging a strong diplomatic protest with Ottawa, Islamabad issued a strong démarche to the Canadian high commissioner.

“The diplomat was told that the recent statement against Pakistan by Canadian Member of Parliament Tom Kmiec was against diplomatic norms and highly irresponsible,” sources said.

Tom Kmiec is a Canadian parliamentarian for Calgary Shepard in the House of Commons. He has served in finance and foreign affairs committees and is the former national conservative caucus chairman of the 43rd Parliament.

He is accused of campaigning for groups hostile toward the state of Pakistan.

While speaking in the lower house of the Canadian Parliament, Tom Kmiec, who belongs to Canada’s Conservative Party, levelled some serious allegations against COAS Gen Bajwa and slammed his government for approving the amount for COAS Bajwa’s reception from the taxpayer money of Canada.

Read more: Canadian parliament insults Pakistan’s Army Chief: Country’s honor tarnished

The COAS was expected to visit Canada in 2020, but his official visit was later canceled due to COVID-19.

He recalled how the Assistant Deputy Defense Minister called the allocation of the amount ‘appropriate’ for the visit of COAS Qamar Bajwa. Kmiec said Bajwa is accused of the toppling of two civilian governments. Adding that military under his command is charged with human rights abuses and extradition killings and has links to terror groups. He asked if the Defense Ministry still shares the same view.

Parliamentary Secretary of Canadian Defense Ministry Bryan May also said the allocation of the $50,000 for the reception of Pakistan’s Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa was ‘inappropriate.’

It is immediately unclear who approached or briefed the Canadian lawmaker about the political situation in Pakistan.

Earlier this month, he participated in a walk organised for the rights of Sindhis. Together with Tariq Fatah, who is accused of maligning Pakistan globally, Tom is allegedly promoting Indian-backed terror groups in the Sindh province of Pakistan, according to www.pakstrategic.com.


With input from Express Tribune