Pakistan says reports of mangoes gifted to foreign dignitaries 'misleading'

Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry has described as "factually incorrect and misleading" reports that the government had gifted Pakistani mangoes to some foreign dignitaries last week, saying the process for dispatching the much sought-after fruit was still underway

Jun 14, 2021
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Mangoes gifted

Pakistan’s foreign affairs ministry has described as "factually incorrect and misleading" reports that the government had gifted Pakistani mangoes to some foreign dignitaries last week, saying the process for dispatching the much sought-after fruit was still underway.

“We have seen media reports regarding the dispatch of Pakistani mangoes last week as [a] gift to some foreign dignitaries. We reject these reports as factually incorrect and misleading," a Foreign Office statement said.

The News had reported on Thursday that the FO was sending mangoes to state heads and government leaders of more than 32 countries on President Dr. Arif Alvi's behalf as part of 'mango diplomacy'.

Citing sources, the report said several countries, including the US and China, had refused to accept the mango dispatches and asked Pakistan to not send them due to "quarantine regulations".

It said the mangoes would also be sent to Iran, Gulf countries, Turkey, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Russia, while Canada, Nepal, Egypt and Sri Lanka were among the countries which had refused the gift.

Explaining the government's mango diplomacy, the FO said: "Every year, the president of Pakistan sends high-quality mangoes as [a] gift to selected countries as part of goodwill and to promote our trade diplomacy efforts."

It noted that Pakistani mango exports had risen to USD 104 million in 2019-20 from USD 78 million the previous year.

"The ministry prepares a list of countries keeping in view quarantine regulations, sanitary and phytosanitary requirements as well as the availability of flights. Since last year, Covid-19-related stipulations are also part of the consideration," the statement said, according to a Dawn report.

It clarified that the process for the current year was still in the planning stages and, therefore, "there is no question of dispatch of mangoes to any country.”

(SAM)

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