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Fire Imran Khan or the speech writer? People ask after Pakistan PM’s mujahideen claim at UNGA

At the UNGA forum, Khan said the ‘mujahideen’ were considered ‘heroes’ and that former US President Ronald Reagan had invited them to the White House.

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New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is in a fix once again, and this time regarding his comments at the United Nations General Assembly.

At the UNGA forum, Khan said the ‘mujahideen’ were considered ‘heroes’ and that former US President Ronald Reagan had invited them to the White House.

“…According to a news item, he (Reagan) compared them (mujahideens) to the founding fathers of the United States. They were heroes!” Khan is reported to have said.

PM Khan’s comments were met with harsh criticism. Pakistani journalist Gharidah Farooqi said it was an ‘international embarrassment’ that he was quoting from ‘fake news’ to launch Pakistan at the UNGA. She also called for the firing of his speech writer.

 

Among those who lashed out at Khan was Pakistan Opposition leader Maryam Nawaz Sharif, who said, “Fire Imran Khan, not the speech writer. Bad SELECTION!”

Meanwhile, academician and former Afghan diplomat Mahmoud Saikal said that Khan’s defense was poor and most of his facts were wrong. “The days of plausible deniability are over. The exposure of Pakistan will continue,” he tweeted.

 

Pakistani journalist Naila Inayat, on the other hand, pointed out that this was not the first time Imran Khan had been caught claiming that Ronald Reagan had invited the mujahideen to the White House. She tweeted that he had made a similar claim in 2019 at an event of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.


Also Read: Imran Khan sent Shehryar Afridi to UNGA to speak on Kashmir. But he is vlogging in Times Square


Indian diplomat’s response

The Pakistan PM also got a strong reply from Indian diplomat Sneha Dubey, who said that Khan had tarnished the image of the international forum by bringing in “internal matters and spewing falsehoods.”

She asserted that terrorists enjoy a “free pass”, while those targeted by them (especially those coming from minority communities) had their worlds turned upside down. She alleged that Khan continued to defend acts of terror, which was unacceptable. “This is the country which is an arsonist disguising itself as a fire-fighter,” she said.

The speech by Sneha Dubey was largely lauded, especially by Twitter users. One claimed that it was a “befitting reply”, while another posted a picture with the caption: ‘Ladki me dum hain’

Another Pakistani user, who claims to be the ‘Personal Adviser’ to Gen Qamar Bajwa in his bio, took a rather humorous stance. He tweeted that Pakistan had rejected Sneha Dubey’s allegations because her speech was in English.


Also Read: This Pakistani child is calling Imran Khan a ‘chor’ and ‘shaitan’ in an Oscar-worthy nazm


Support for Imran Khan

Meanwhile, there were also a few who deemed it a mistake and rushed to the support of Imran Khan.

Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi sidestepped the controversy and instead chose to praise Khan for his speech. He said that he was proud of Imran Khan who spoke about “major global challenges,” and that he “continues to engage every major platform to bravely share voices of those less fortunate & to highlight key issues that many choose to ignore but that affect us all.”

Pakistani journalist Mehr Tarar tweeted in support of Khan, writing that “Imran Khan bashing seemed to be a full-time occupation.” While another user said it was the “First Time In The History Of United Nations, Pakistan Army & ISI Were Praised By Name.”

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