Islamabad, November 11
The United States embassy in Islamabad on Wednesday issued an apology for sharing a Twitter post which indirectly called Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan a “demagogue and dictator.”
On Tuesday night, the US embassy re-tweeted a post by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Ahsan Iqbal, where he shows a screenshot of an article by The Washington Post titled ‘Trump’s defeat is a blow for the world’s demagogues and dictators’.
Along with the screengrab, Iqbal wrote: “We have one in Pakistan too. He will be shown the way out soon.” Iqbal’s lines were a clear reference to Prime Minister Khan.
The embassy’s post went viral within minutes and it faced severe backlash from the supporters of Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party.
On Wednesday, the embassy on its twitter account said, “The US embassy Islamabad Twitter account was accessed last night without authorisation. The US embassy does not endorse the posting or re-tweeting of political messages. We apologise for any confusion that may have resulted from the unauthorised post.” Since then the embassy has deleted the post.
On Tuesday, #ApologiseUS_Embassy trended on Twitter. Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari and Sindh Governor Imran Ismael have demanded an apology from the US embassy.
“US embassy is still working in Trumpian mode in support of convicted absconder and intervening brazenly in our internal politics,” Mazari said, referring to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif.
“Monroe doctrine also died centuries ago! US embassy must observe norms of diplomacy,” she said.
Reacting to the US embassy’s apology, the minister said, “Account was clearly not hacked so someone who had access to it used it ‘without authorisation’. Unacceptable that someone working in the US Embassy is pushing a particular political party’s agenda.”
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Political Communication Shahbaz Gill said for the first time ever an embassy was seen “insulting” its own lawfully elected president. “We expect some heads to roll. This is unacceptable!” he said. PTI