As part of the foreign minister’s ‘Vision FO’, a platform for thought leadership at the Foreign Office, Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi launched a new app “FM Direct” digitally, on Friday. The event was attended by over 60 Heads of Missions of Pakistan online across different geographical and time zones. Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood, Ms. Tania Aidrus, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Digital Pakistan, Mr. Shabahat Ali Shah CEO, National Information Technology Board (NITB), Dr. Arslan Khalid, Prime Minister’s focal person on digital media, Digital Expert Imran Ghazali, Chairman NADRA, and members of FM’s Digital Diplomacy Group, digital experts and senior officials of the Ministry. The ‘FM Direct’ is a new and evolved way of thinking, encapsulating the spirit of meritocracy and transparency within the Foreign Office through digital communication. Launching the ‘FM Direct’ app, Foreign Minister Qureshi said that the purpose of FM Direct is to involve all officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at the Headquarters and Missions aboard in an interactive dialogue for the exchange of ideas. The app provides an opportunity to each officer, irrespective of grade and location, to reach out to the Foreign Minister directly and share their views independently and without any restriction. The app was launched now specifically during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the Foreign Minister believes in the critical importance of being as connected as possible to ensure multi stakeholder coordination and dialogue; and indeed it is at a time of great crisis that innovative, game changing ideas have emerged through history. The Foreign Minister thanked Chairman NADRA, present at the meeting, for developing the FM Direct app and for ensuring its security and interactive features. The app will be regularly updated and improved in order to eventually replace other commercially available communication means in the Foreign office. Officers from the Missions present also shared their views with the Foreign Minister and lauded the launch of this modern and innovative communication medium. ‘Vision FO’ is part of the Foreign Minister’s Public Diplomacy drive, to craft an environment of thought leadership at the Ministry; to promote a macro vision, digital landscape and an evolved/transparent way of communications.