New Delhi: “Hilarious” and “beizzati” were just some of the many words used to describe the tweet posted by the Pakistan embassy in Serbia that criticised Prime Minister Imran Khan for alleged non-payment of salaries of the embassy staff for three months. Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs later stated that the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts of the embassy had been “hacked”.
In a now-deleted tweet, the embassy’s official Twitter handle said on Friday: “With inflation breaking all previous records, how long do you expect @ImranKhanPTI that we government officials will remain silent and keep working for you without been paid for past three months and our children been forced out of school due to non payment of fees. Is this #NayaPakistan? (sic)”
The tweet was posted on 11.02am Friday and subsequently deleted but not before it was shared nearly a hundred times.
Some social media users were amused by the second tweet posted by the embassy’s official handle which read: “I am sorry @ImranKhanPTI, am not left with another option”. Others referred to the whole debacle as “official beizzati of Pakistan” for an embassy to “troll” its own government.
— Aadesh Gindodiya (@AadeshGindodiya) December 3, 2021
What an official beizzati of Pakistan! It's own embassy in Serbia has brutally trolled their PM @ImranKhanPTI and the govt. These tweets are enough to show that in what mess Pakistan is right now. "Aatankwadiyo ko khilate khilate khud ke khane ke laale pade hain…" pic.twitter.com/pUialgOBpn
— Pinky Rajpurohit (ABP News) 🇮🇳 (@Madrassan_Pinky) December 3, 2021
Meanwhile, some users on social media suggested Indian hackers were behind the tweet.
Raja Faisal, a self-described Geopolitical Analyst in Pakistan, suggested Indian-American Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s newly appointed CEO, had something to do with it.
“#NayaTwitter for #NayaPakistan,” said Faisal.
— Raja Faisal 🇵🇰 (@RajaFaisalPK) December 3, 2021
Though Pakistan’s foreign ministry posted a clarification about the “hacked” accounts, an embassy tweeting against its own prime minister on foreign soil was bound to cause some flutter on social media, not just in Pakistan but in India and other parts of the world too.
Pakistani Twitter user Samina Ali Siddiqui asked, “Why is it become so easy to malign Pakistan and PTI Govt lately, you guys need to figure that out”.
A formal clarification from the Serbian embassy official need to come along with the hackers details and their motives.. why is it become so easy to malign Pakistan and PTI Govt lately, you guys need to figure that out! #Serbia https://t.co/gvbdQZyKOA
— Samina Ali Siddiqui (@SaminaAli_Alii) December 3, 2021
Even before the Pakistan foreign ministry issued the clarification, journalist Benazir Shah informed the public that officials at the embassy in Serbia had refused to comment on the tweet and directed her back to the field officer for a comment.
Officials at the Pakistan embassy in Serbia refuse to comment on the tweet and direct me back to the FO for an official comment.
— Benazir Shah (@Benazir_Shah) December 3, 2021
Another Pakistani journalist, Hamza Azhar Salam, said Pakistan’s Ambassador to Serbia, Shehryar Akbar Khan, had claimed that all salaries of the staff in the embassy were paid two days ago.
Pakistan's Ambassador to Serbia, Shehryar Akbar Khan claims that all salaries of the staff in @PakinSerbia were paid two days ago and that the Twitter account has been hacked. @ForeignOfficePk has also confirmed that the account has been hacked. #Serbia #PakInSerbia #Islamabad pic.twitter.com/MyotXuAG0D
— Hamza Azhar Salam (@HamzaAzhrSalam) December 3, 2021
Indian journalists Nidhi Razdan and Ashish Singh too commented on the incident with the latter going as far as to call it a reflection of “how deep a mess Pakistan as a country is in”.
Quite something to see a Pakistani official handle hit out at their own Prime Minister for non payment of salaries 😳 https://t.co/uPwRUGxROH
— Nidhi Razdan (@Nidhi) December 3, 2021
Pakistan Embassy in Serbia goes openly against 🇵🇰 govt.
A govt unit, on a foreign soil, going all out against its govt clearly reflects how deep a mess Pakistan as a country is in.
Any reaction from Pak Media, Army or Govt? pic.twitter.com/aDOreC90i8
— Ashish Singh (@AshishSinghNews) December 3, 2021
A clip from a music video by Pakistani singer Saad Alavi, often compared to India’s Yashraj Mukhate, was also included in the tweet. Alavi’s song had gone viral in March this year and was a play on Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s speech from March 2020 during the pandemic when he famously said “aap ne ghabrana nahi (don’t worry)”.