The Foreign Ministry took a major stride toward digitalization on Friday as FM Qureshi launched the ‘FM Direct’ app, which makes communication and exchange of ideas within the ministry and over 62 missions abroad easier and more efficient.
‘FM Direct’ was launched digitally with the event attended online by over 60 Missions of Pakistan across different geographical locations and time zones.
The app opens up the Foreign Office to the world of digital communications and links the Foreign Minister directly to around 500 officers around the world for more effective communication especially in the times of need, Covid-19 and beyond.
“The FM Direct app is a new and evolved way of thinking, encapsulating the spirit of meritocracy and transparency within the Foreign Office through digital communication,” a Foreign Office statement said.
Lunching the app, FM Qureshi said that the purpose of FM Direct was to involve all officers of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs both at the Headquarters and Missions abroad in an interactive dialogue for the exchange of ideas.
The app will allow officers of all grades and locations to reach out to the Foreign Minister and share their views independently and without any restriction, the FO said.
Qureshi also spelled out what the app was not intended for. “The app is not to be used to seek favors, nor is it a portal for backbiting or to register complaints,” he clarified.
He added that the real objective of the FM Direct app was to promote fresh ideas and out-of-the-box thinking, which would be crucial especially in the new post-outbreak world. It is at a time of great crisis that innovative, game-changing ideas have emerged through history, he said.
Qureshi said that as opposed to the conventional means of communication, FM Direct would give the ministry an opportunity to monitor and assess officers in a more efficient manner while connecting them directly to the ministry high-ups.
“Here we have the opportunity for the younger officers to stand out and get recognized for their intellect and competence,” said Qureshi. “The world is changing fast so we must also adapt and prepare ourselves for a different world,” he added.
The timing of app’s launch amid the Covid-19 crisis is crucial, said the Foreign Office, because the Foreign Minister believed in the critical importance of being as connected as possible to ensure multi stakeholder coordination and dialogue.
The FM Direct app, developed by Nadra, will be regularly updated and improved in order to eventually replace other commercially available communication means in the Foreign Office, the statement read.
The launch of FM Direct app is part of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s ‘Vision FO’ that was launched in December 2019 to ensure a vibrant and effective foreign policy to protect political and economic interest of Pakistan.
A new Foreign Office website was also launched last year under the ‘Vision FO’ to help enhance accessibility and information base for the visitors.