ISLAMABAD: Cuba Ambassador to Pakistan Zéner Caro on Monday slammed Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal’s “disrespectful remarks” on former’s country, saying that the statement has nothing to do with Pakistanis’ respect for Cuba.
Addressing a press conference on Sunday, Ahsan Iqbal had said that Pakistan wanted to become a strong country for which it needed a strong economy and positioning with the global economy. The planning minister said he did not want Pakistan to turn into Cuba or North Korea.
Taking to Twitter today, Caro responded to Iqbal’s comments and said: “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.”
Fortunately, Minister Ahsan Iqbal’s (@betterpakistan) 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. https://t.co/7LrB6u453k
— Zéner Caro (@ZenerCaro) April 25, 2022
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”.
Excellency! We have deep respect for the people of Cuba & our deep affectionate relations with Cuba. We can’t forget how Cuban doctors played heroic role in after math of 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. My remarks were only in the context of foreign policy.@ZenerCaro https://t.co/4GVQiqdVPY
— Ahsan Iqbal (@betterpakistan) April 25, 2022
“We have deep respect for the people of Cuba and our deep affectionate relations with Cuba,” Iqbal said, adding that Pakistan couldn’t forget how Cuban doctors played a heroic role during the aftermath of 2005 earthquake in Pakistan.
Earlier, journalists and activists on Twitter had also criticised the minister for his remarks, recalling Cuba’s support for Pakistan in tough times.
Zebunnisa Burki, a journalist, said someone needed to explain basic history to Iqbal. “He seems to think Cuba = North Korea,” she added.
Someone pls explain the basic history of Cuba to Minister Ahsan Iqbal. He seems to think Cuba = North Korea. 🤦🏻♀️
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) April 25, 2022
Another journalist Murtaza Solangi remarked that Pakistan would always remain “grateful to the heroic people of Cuba”.
Ambassador, I am sure the mentioning of Cuba was not aimed at disrespecting Cuba, a country, the people of Pakistan love and respect sincerely.
We shall remain grateful to the heroic people of Cuba.
Viva Cuba! https://t.co/8h6BltafAo
— Murtaza Solangi (@murtazasolangi) April 25, 2022