Opinion: An Embassy in Pakistan Should Not Be Our Priority – By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.

Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Ghana’ Foreign Minister

It gets very irritating to hear Ms. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, complain to Parliament that her Ministry and, in effect, the Government of Ghana, does not have the $180,000 (USD) that it takes to secure a tract of prime landed property allocated to Ghana for the construction of a High Commission or an Embassy in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad. I resent this “strapped for cash” nonsense, because our Government, generically speaking, does not seem to have any problem rushing to settle judgment debts brought upon our pates by unconscionable and plain idiotic leaders on the Left Side, mostly, who ought to have been shipped off our shores with the first wave of African captives for chattel enslavement in the so-called New World of the Americas in the late 1400s.

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I also did not find it very savvy with the members of the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) pretending as if they had absolutely no appreciation of why our previous governments had not taken up on this significant diplomatic offer from the Pakistani Government. I have a feeling that this may have something to do with the fact that Pakistan’s giant neighbor and military rival, India, has struck a fast friendship with Ghana that goes back to the Independence era. Then also, the New Delhi authorities have been fiscally generous to Ghana – and here I am, of course, alluding to the construction of Jubilee House, or The Presidency – in a way that the Pakistanis have not been generally known to have been with Ghana. Which is probably because Islamabad has been in the throes of catastrophic political upheavals for at least a couple of decades. And the Ghanaian leaders, for the most part timid and kleptocratic beyond common sense, may be a little jittery about the possibility of getting caught in the crossfire of such wanton and perennial fit of upheavals. Which does not give a very good account of the temperamental balance of Ghanaian leaders on the global diplomatic front.

The fact of the matter is that the Pakistanis are as friendly and magnanimous as their much richer Indian neighbors and cousins. For example, I vividly remember that critical period in the late 1990s, when the now-defunct Ghana Airways Corporation rented terminal space from the Pakistanis at New York City’s John Fitzgerald Kennedy International Airport (JFK Airport). But even more significantly, like Ghana and India, Pakistan is a bona fide member of both the United Nations and the Commonwealth of the erstwhile British-ruled colonies around the globe. I am also quite certain that Pakistan which, like India, is a nuclear power, has a High Commission or full diplomatic representation in Ghana. If so, then there is absolutely no reason for Ghana to be pussyfooting over the need to establish full diplomatic representation in Islamabad, just as we presently do in New Delhi. Being discriminatory against the Pakistanis does not put Ghana in a favorable light, especially when one considers the fact that France and Canada, two even greater nuclear powers, are reported to have expressed strong interest in snapping up the landed diplomatic property space granted Ghana by Pakistan.

We also learn that, already, the Malaysian government has been encroaching on Ghana’s land. What needs to be done, and promptly so, if Ghana is to play a significant or major role in international diplomacy and in the international community, is to quickly come up with whatever wherewithal is required to immediately take permanent ownership of the land in question. And then not merely demarcate it with the construction of a wall around it, the way it is routinely done in Ghana, and then completely forget about it in the materially regressive manner that it is routinely done in Ghana as well. Rather, what is really and seriously needed is a comprehensive architectural plan and for construction work to commence as soon as possible. We cannot as a people and a nation continue to behave as if somebody always must come from Europe or the West to lecture us on how to conduct ourselves as a respectable and a diplomatically formidable member of the International Community.

Any landed property valued at between $40 and $80 Million (USD) is prime land or property. Only our Galamsey-obsessed leadership would facilely allow such reportedly fetching landed property to be cannibalized by another diplomatic player. Common sense are the signal operative words here.

*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com  Ghanaffairs

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