UK cuts diplomatic jobs in Indo-Pacific countries
According to the new government figures, British-based diplomatic posts for key Indo-Pacific nations, such as India, Pakistan, and China, have been reduced by about 50 percent in the past few years.
Despite being identified as key places to deepen ties over the coming decade, the Guardian reported that staff members of embassies and consulates in Pakistan, China, and India have all been diminishing over the last seven years.
According to the report, the number of British-based Foreign Office staff was between 110 and 119 in the Pakistan embassy and consulate. This fell to 50-59, a cut equivalent to about 50 percent.
Over the same timeframe, the number of British-based Foreign Office staff in India was cut from 70-79 to 40-49 in the past seven years.
The figures shared by the Guardian came from the Foreign Office minister David Rutley, in response to written parliamentary questions by the Labour frontbencher Catherine West.
The figures also showed a reduction in the number of trips by ministers to these countries.
The Foreign Office and international development department conducted 37 ministerial trips to the Indo-Pacific region in 2018, with some countries being visited more than once a year.
However, by 2022, the number of ministerial trips conducted was less than a third of that, with just 12 recorded, the Guardian reported.
A Foreign Office spokesperson told the Guardian that these numbers do not give an “accurate picture” of Britain’s presence in the Indo-Pacific region.
The reduction in headcount of UK-based staff in China and India is partly due to Covid and how the UK spends its overseas development budget, the Guardian was told.
Official statistics also revealed that UK’s trade with the Indo-Pacific increased 16.4 percent year-on-year from autumn 2021 to 2022
[With Inputs from IANS]
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UK unable to pay salaries to staff & thats the reason to cut staff ?
How about cutting the elected member’s strength itself in the parliament which will save & shave a lot more !!