ISLAMABAD: Foreign Office has issued a statement denying the use of public funds to design a new website for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; rather it is being personally paid by Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
“There is no government/public funding involved in the design cost. The foreign minister is personally paying the design cost as a token of his appreciation and commitment to the Foreign Office and its personnel,” said a statement by the Foreign Office.
In his address to officers of the foreign ministry on Wednesday, the foreign minister announced that the new web design for which he would personally bear the cost would be his “gift to the ministry and its officers.”
It added that the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is its primary public interface and an open platform. The foreign minister’s decision to have the website upgraded is in line with his vision of leading the Foreign Office into the modern and innovative digital age and making the website more user-friendly. The ministry is, therefore, currently working on its improved and updated version.
Foreign Office clarified that the information contained in the website is not classified, as it is for the facilitation of the general public, not just in Pakistan but also globally.
Therefore, there is no question of security being compromised in any event given that the website redesign team is simply graphically redesigning the site based on publicly available content on the existing website.
The new layout of the publicly open website is being designed by a reputed web designing company, which was assigned the task on a purely professional basis in view of the requirement for specialised external design expertise.
The Foreign Office also clarified rumours and said the assigned company has neither any family link nor personal relationship with the foreign minister, and is rather a specialised digital design agency.
The foreign minister will continue to undertake improvements and upgradation in all areas, as required. Malicious attempts to malign such constructive measures are regrettable, it added.