“Fortunately Minister Iqbal’s disrespectful mention of Cuba.. has nothing to do with Pakistanis’ true respect and affection for Cuba”, says the Cuban ambassador
Ambassador of Cuba to Pakistan Zéner Caro called out the new federal minister Ahsan Iqbal for his “disrespectful” remarks on Cuba.
At a media talk on Sunday, Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal said that “If Pakistan wants to be a strong country, we need to have a strong economy,” which requires aligning with the global economy.” He criticized the PTI government for hampering ties with the European Union, the United States and even brotherly Muslim countries, risking the isolation of the country, adding that he does not want Pakistan to turn into Cuba or North Korea.
Responding to Iqbal’s comments today, the Cuban Ambassador tweeted, “Fortunately, Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s disrespectful mention of Cuba in his press conference in Lahore does not represent and has nothing to do with Pakistanis’ true respect and deep affection for Cuba.”
Many Pakistani social media users, including politicians, journalists and activists, also criticised the minister for his remarks, recalling Cuba’s support for Pakistan in tough times, especially during the devastating 2005 earthquake.
Following the Cuban ambassador’s tweet, the federal minister took to Twitter and clarified that his remarks were “only in the context of foreign policy”.
Pakistan and Cuba enjoy excellent bilateral ties despite the great geographical distances. Cuba, under the administration of then-president Fidel Castro, send a medical team of 2,500 and assistance to Pakistan after the country was struck by a devastating earthquake in 2005.
Cuba also offers hundreds of medical scholarships to Pakistani students.