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Friday, January 27, 2023
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Tahir Ashrafi reacts to FM Qureshi receiving backlash

FM Qureshi came under fire on social media for sitting in a "disrespectful manner" during his meeting with the Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki. Reacting to this, Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi clarified that FM Qureshi faces back problems due to which he often sits in that manner. 

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Special Representative to Prime Minister on Interfaith Harmony and Middle East Hafiz Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi came to the defense of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for the backlash he received recently.

To clarify, FM Qureshi came under fire on social media for sitting in a “disrespectful manner” during his meeting with the Saudi Ambassador Nawaf bin Said Al-Malki. Many Saudis found Qureshi sitting with one leg crossed and the other pointing in the direction of Al-Malki offensive. Taking to Twitter, they slammed the foreign minister.

“The Pakistani minister’s behavior during his reception of the Saudi ambassador was rude, disrespectful, and contradicted with diplomacy,” one Saudi Twitterati wrote.

“Frankly, if I were one of the Saudi ambassadors, I would have left,” another Saudi netizen tweeted.

Read more: Saudi Arabia announces financial support for Pakistan

Pakistani Twitteratis too joined in and called the minister out. They condemned his “disrespectful pose” and demanded that he apologize to the Saudi Ambassador. On another note, some users also targeted the Saudi ambassador for sitting comfortably and not taking offense. They said that he “made a mistake if he did not warn him and express his displeasure”.

Qureshi sahab has back problems: Tahir Ashrafi

Reacting to the social media backlash for FM Qureshi, Tahir Ashrafi firstly clarified that there are different ways of sitting. Moreover, he said that FM Qureshi faces back problems due to which he often sits in that manner.

As for Pak-Saudi relations, Ashrafi said everyone is aware of the countries’ brotherly ties. The Saudi Ambassador has been in Pakistan for the last seven years. He receives respect at the official level and at the public level.

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He also added that the backlash is all propaganda by those who are against Pak-Saudi friendly ties. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia’s ties are based on faith and harmony. Therefore, Pakistan can never disrespect Saudi Arabia like this, Ashrafi added. However, he also said that if any Saudi brother was hurt, then he can be apologized to.

He once again stressed on FM Qureshi’s back problems and said he often sits like this. Ashrafi said the manner in which this issue was raised on social media and international media is far from reality.