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FM Qureshi to bear upgradation cost of Foreign Office website, clarifies spokesperson

ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office rejected on Friday reports that it has awarded a contract for upgradation and handling of its official website to a firm owned by a close relative of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi.

“There is no government or 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,” Spokesperson Dr Muhammad Faisal said in a statement.

“In his address to all the officers of the Foreign Ministry on 2nd October 2019, 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,” he recalled.

He said FM Qureshi’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 FO is, therefore, currently working on its improved and updated version.

“The new layout of the publicly open website is being designed by a reputed web designing company, which was assigned the task on purely professional basis in view of requirement for specialized external design expertise,” the statement read.

“The assigned company has neither family link nor personal relationship with the Foreign Minister. It is a specialized digital design agency.”

It said information uploaded on the website is not classified as it is for facilitation of the general public not just in Pakistan but also globally.

“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.”

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