BISHKEK: The international media is irked by Prime Minister Imran Khan’s latest diplomatic gaffe at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on Thursday.
The premier was seen breaching the diplomatic protocol in a video shared by the official Twitter handle of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) that showcases him being seated while everyone else is standing in reverence to welcome the head of states entering the hall.
PM Imran has subsequently met with immense censure by the international media that is condemning this breach of protocol.
NDTV ran the news as “Watch: Days After Saudi Gaffe, Imran Khan’s Blunder At Bishkek, whereas Times of India and Khaleej Times reported, “Pakistan PM Imran Khan breaks diplomatic protocol at SCO summit.”
According to NDTV, “Mr Khan walked in, went straight to his seat, and sat down despite all other leaders standing till each of the heads of state arrived. Mr Khan, who seemed unaffected even after seeing everyone else standing, stood up briefly only to acknowledge his presence when his name was announced. He could be seen bowing slightly with his hand on his chest when his name is announced. But immediately after that he sits down again, while others continue to stand.”
Prime Minister of #Pakistan @ImranKhanPTI's Arrival with other World Leaders at Invitation of President of Kyrgyzstan for Opening Ceremony 19th Meeting of the Council of the Heads of State of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Bishkek Kyrgyzstan (13.06.19)#SCOSummit2019 pic.twitter.com/fYdKYN3Fv7
— PTI (@PTIofficial) June 13, 2019
Meanwhile, Times of India observed, “Khan earlier broke the diplomatic protocol at the 14th OIC summit held in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.”
It added, “During a meeting with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz at the sidelines of the summit, Khan spoke to Salman’s interpreter and walked off before the message could be translated to the king. The video was widely circulated on social media and Khan was criticized, both by his countrymen and Saudi Arabia for apparently disrespecting the king.”
Because of his gesture, PM Imran was heavily criticised for disrespecting the king.