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Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s shoe points at Saudi envoy. Angry Pakistanis call it ‘unislamic’

In a recent meeting between Pakistan’s Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Saudi's Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, it looks like ‘respect’ and ‘culture’ went for a toss.

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New Delhi: Saudis and Pakistanis are good old friends. It’s a ‘friend-in-need-is-a-friend-indeed’ relationship where Saudi Arabia is giving hefty loans to its fellow nation. Although such an arrangement is not new to the world, in a recent meeting between Pakistan’s foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Saudi ambassador to Pakistan, Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki, it looks like ‘respect’ and ‘culture’ went for a toss.

Pakistan’s foreign minister can be seen pointing his shoe towards Saudi Arabia’s ambassador, while the ambassador sits comfortably without taking any offence. But Pakistanis on Twitter seem to have taken it as an ‘embarrassment’, ‘disrespect’ and ‘unislamic’.

Former ISESCO Director, General Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, while taking offence and calling it ‘disrespect as per Islam’ like many other Twitter users, wrote: “The behaviour of the Minister of Foreign Affairs by raising his leg in the face of the Saudi ambassador is totally unacceptable. It is the etiquette of Islam to respect and honour the guest.” To which another embarrassed user whose Twitter bio says he is a “proud Pakistani”, replied: “Sorry to All our Saudi Friends What our foreign minister did is unacceptable Here in Pakistan we are demanding him to apologise”.


Also Read: This ‘leaked letter by Shah Mahmood Qureshi’ has made Pakistan a butt of jokes online


While Pakistan’s foreign minister was called out in both countries, some users also targeted the Saudi ambassador for sitting comfortably and not taking offence. They said that he “made a mistake if he did not warn him and express his displeasure”. The Saudi Twitter handle also said that “We are a country of pride and dignity, and we do not accept bad manners, as the foreign minister of Pakistan made a mistake”.

Pakistani users also seem to think that the foreign minister needs to learn a lot more. He is in a “dire need of learning literature”, they said, while pointing out the offensive manner in which the minister is seated, adding, “Pakistan begs from Saudi Arabia every year”.


Also Read: Give Shah Mahmood Qureshi the Peace Nobel for Palestine ceasefire. Forget his CNN interview


Mocking Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s “hospitality”, another user took a dig at the minister: “Pakistani Foreign Minister receives Saudi ambassador in Pakistan with matchless hospitality”. Twitter users from both countries agreed that it was not very polite on Qureshi’s part to be seated in such a way.

In a video that generated enough ‘sentiment’ from both countries, another Saudi user called on the whole nation. He questioned, “The reckless and condescending reception of the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

Meanwhile, some users also ‘admired’ the ambassador for gracefully ‘keeping his silence’ about the entire incident.

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