The selection of Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi begs the question of eligibility and merit, irrespective of past appointment as foreign minister in PPP’s government. Moving forward with Imran’s government to be, it is pertinent that “Naya Pakistan” ensure it engages with global and regional powers with determination and capable experts promoting Pakistan’s interests by prioritizing, formulating, implementing and presenting Pakistan’s foreign policy. The foremost function of a Minister of Foreign Affairs is to defend the interest of the state and government in another country and in all regional and international forums in which the country is represented. They represent the state vis-a-vis foreign governments and international organizations, explains its positions and problems throughout the world, endeavours to promote its economic, cultural, and scientific relations, and fosters cooperation with developing countries. The ideal eligible candidate is one with a career in the Foreign Service, who followed the traditional path from the Foreign Service Academy, joining the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Islamabad as Assistant Director. There are three categories of Divisions in the Ministry – Administrative, Protocol and Political Divisions. They would serve as Deputy Director, Director, Director General and Additional Secretary. The highest-ranking official in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the Foreign Secretary who is a career Foreign Service officer. At a foreign post, the officer starts as a Third Secretary and with successive promotions serves as Second Secretary, First Secretary, Counsellor, Minister or Ambassador. At the Foreign Service Academy in Islamabad, eligible candidates undergo a nine-month long Specialized Diplomatic Course. The course is specifically designed for the Foreign Service and includes subjects such as Foreign Policy, Diplomatic Theory and Practice, International Politics, International Law, Pakistan’s Foreign Trade and International Economics. Upon completion of this course, the trainees have to sit for the Final Passing out Examination (FPOE) conducted by the Federal Public Service Commission (FPSC). Foreign language training is an essential component of training of a Foreign Service officer. A few months after graduating the Foreign Service Academy, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs nominates officers for foreign language courses to study Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish at premier language institutes in the countries where these languages are spoken. The duration of language courses varies according to the level of difficulty of a language. The objective is to make the diplomats fluent in the language they specialize in. Looking at the background and experience of Mr Qureshi, we learn that he is an agriculturist, held portfolios such as that of Minister of Planning and Development, Minister of Finance, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, District Nazim of Multan and Foreign Minister Foreign Service officers are encouraged to pursue further studies to enhance their knowledge and expertise in foreign affairs. A large number of scholarships are offered by foreign governments exclusively for Foreign Service officers and every year several of them proceed abroad to study subjects such as international relations, international law, public policy, environmental law, WTO law, human rights, diplomacy and management at leading international universities and institutes. In addition to degree programs, a number of short courses are offered by foreign universities and institutes including sister institutes of the Foreign Service Academy. All Foreign Service officers are also required to qualify certain mandatory training courses at different intervals in their career. These courses are mandatory for their promotion to the next grade and include Mid-Career Management Course (MCMC), Senior Management Course (SMC) and National Management Course (NMC). The late Agha Shahi had vast experience in bilateral and multilateral diplomacy and made his mark within the country and abroad through his deep and perceptive understanding of international relations. He had served as a foreign minister from 1977 to 1982 at a very crucial juncture in Pakistan’s history. He started his career in 1951 and served as Pakistan’s permanent envoy to the United Nations, ambassador to the United States, China and several other capitals of the world. He also served on various posts at the Foreign Office in Islamabad including Secretary Foreign Affairs. His last assignment was as head of the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad. Pakistan’s new government with the mantra of “Naya Pakistan” does not need to reinvent the wheel, rather continue the path taken by stalwarts such as Agha Shahi. Pakistan needs to evolve by inducting schools of foreign relations, on defence and security, diplomacy, and foreign policy-making, well above and beyond just international relations at its numerous universities. It is then that we can be on somewhat of an equal footing with the rest of the world and have healthy debates and be able to tackle think tanks, like scholars from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service or fellows at David Rockefeller studies program to display Pakistan’s well-placed interests regionally and globally at-large, such as at the United Nations. Looking at the background and experience of Mr.Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi we learn that he is an agriculturist, held portfolios such as that of Minister of Planning and Development, Minister of Finance, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, District Nazim of Multan, and lastly as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan. His family claims to be of saintly lineage and caretaker of Multan’s Shrine of Bahauddin Zakariya, which provides the family with substantial income, as well votes during the elections. He claims the Sufi spiritual titles of Makdhoom and Pir. In 2011, Qureshi faced criticism in Pakistan when it was discovered that his son, Zain H. Qureshi, was working as a Legislative Fellow in the office of Senator John Kerry. I am not sure that based on such a hodgepodge background the current prospective candidate is deserving of this eminent portfolio and promote the interests of 200 million people of Pakistan. The writer if freelance columnist Published in Daily Times, August 20th 2018.