From all appearances, a 40-year old rich Pakistani national has been given the luxury of a diplomatic passport by the ruling New National Party (NNP) of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Mitchell.
The individual has been named as one Fahad Sultan Ahmed who was born on May 14, 1977 in Karachi.
Several persons close to the administration are uneasy over reports from London about the behaviour and conduct of this non-national who is conducting business with a Grenada diplomatic passport.
THE NEW TODAY would like government to look into these allegations which are unbecoming of anyone in the diplomatic field and moreso a Grenada diplomat in a country like Britain.
This newspaper is not aware of the criteria used by the current rulers in St. George’s to designate foreigners to serve as Grenada diplomats.
Too many things seem to be done in the dark and middle of the night when the nation is asleep.
It is said that only a handful of persons in this country know the persons who have been accredited around the world as diplomats of Grenada.
We wish to repeat the exact words appearing in a previous editorial on September 11, 2017: “Grenadians need to know – if any and how many – non-Grenadians received Diplomatic Passports…”
“The people have a right to know who are all the persons with diplomatic passports that are representing them internationally.
“Does the Government of Grenada not consider it good public accountability to notify us about who our Diplomatic Agents are? Should we not hold our Government accountable to the same standards that are now recognised globally?
The opposition parties in Grenada especially the National Democratic Congress (NDC) of Nazim Burke should be calling on government at every opportunity to publish the names of all non-nationals holding diplomatic passports.
The NDC was recently able to force Prime Minister Mitchell to give a report to Parliament on the passport-selling scheme known as Citizenship by Investment (CBI).
It needs to take it further especially in light of allegations that there is in existence a diplomatic passport selling programme in which the pockets of some known persons are getting fatter by the month.
A lot is going on within this government that ordinary Grenadians are not aware of.
With the “silly season” of the election on our doorsteps, one wonders what is the true role of some of the non-nationals with credentials as Grenadian diplomats? How many of them are genuine or simply the bearers of “goodies” for certain politicians?
The issuing of diplomatic passport to non-nationals is allegedly a lucrative business for some politicians with the price tag for landing a diplomatic posting as a full-fledged ambassador put at up to US$1 million.
THE NEW TODAY wishes to repeat a few paragraphs from its editorial of September 17, 2017 in light of the current scenario involving non-nationals holding Grenada diplomatic passports:
“Are we seeing a return to the decade of the ‘roaring 2000’, which was marked by Grenada doing business with the likes of convicted and imprisoned fraudster, Ambassador Eric Resteiner?
“What will be the thinking of Luminaries such as Sir Richard Cheltenham after being so highly paid to make recommendations to Government in the wake of the ‘briefcase inquiry’ and the issuance of diplomatic status to non-nationals?
“THE NEW TODAY is calling on the NDC as the party with the second highest number of votes in the 2013 general elections to actively seek out the Civil Society Grouping and to solicit the answers from Government on this delicate national security, if not Nationalistic Issue of our Diplomatic Passports.
“Apart from the Prime Minister, the two elderly figures in the NNP Government – current Foreign Affairs Minister Elvin Nimrod and the ex-Foreign Affairs Ministers Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen along with the much younger, Nickolas Steele should also be made to give an account of their stewardship of the Foreign Affairs portfolio, particularly as it relates to the Diplomatic Appointments brought by them to Cabinet over the years.
“Cleary, the principle of ‘collective responsibility’ links every Member of the Cabinet to such issuance of Diplomatic Passports to non-nationals as they would have occurred.
“In all this the Minister of Home Affairs, Prime Minister Dr. Mitchell is really the person in charge of granting Citizenship. He is also the Captain of the “Team” as Chairman of the Cabinet.
“Any new Government must be committed to taking a deep look into the critical issue of the Sale of Diplomatic Passports and the grant of Diplomatic Status to non-nationals between February 2013 and August 31, 2017.
“In the 1979-83 era, late Prime Minister Maurice Bishop spoke and the world listened, when he stated…., “We are not in anybody’s backyard, and we are definitely Not for Sale”.
“Grenadians must ask themselves if any part of our patrimony is for Sale today under the current dispensation”.