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Pakistan PM Imran Khan face social media storm for allegedly disrespecting Saudi king

A widely circulated video showed Pakistan PM Imran Khan walking towards the Saudi king but he appeared to be speaking directly to the royal’s translator rather than addressing him directly.

world Updated: Jun 04, 2019 09:27 IST
Imtiaz Ahmad
Imtiaz Ahmad
Hindustan Times, Islamabad
pakistan PM Imran Khan,pak PM meets Saudi king,Imran Khan meets king salman
King Salman bin Abdulaziz (C) of Saudi Arabia welcoming Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan (L) at the opening session of a summit of the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the Saudi holy city of Mecca, June 1, 2019.(AFP)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan faced a social media storm for allegedly disrespecting King Salman of Saudi Arabia when they met at a summit recently.

A widely circulated video showed Khan walking the elaborate red carpet to meet the king during the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation meeting, followed by a brief handshake and greeting. But he appeared to be speaking directly to the royal’s translator rather than addressing him directly. Aside from pointing fingers in the direction of the king more than once, which is usually not done in the kingdom, Khan is shown walking away while the translator was still explaining to the monarch what he had said.

Twitterati called it a “disrespectful” and “insulting” encounter, with some asking Pakistan to prioritise diplomacy skills when choosing their next leader. Commentator @nailainayat tweeted: “This is beyond insulting. PM Imran Khan enters, says something to King Salman, walks out casually before the interpreter translates and the King responds.

“I’d suggest the “selection committee” to teach diplomatic manners when they select PM of Pakistan.”

But reports that the Saudi king cancelled his meeting with Khan were unfounded, as the premier did meet the monarch and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud later.

First Published: Jun 04, 2019 09:27 IST