United States Central Command mysteriously deleted a Twitter post expressing condolence on the death of Khadim Rizvi, the chief of Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan.
A now-deleted tweet of condolence came from the official Twitter account of the US Central Command. The tweet was in Urdu language and was commented on in response to the tweet of Inter-Services Public Relations on Friday. DG ISPR had released a statement of Chief of Army Staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, expressing condolence to the family of Rizvi.
US Central Command also commented on the post, expressed condolence with a top Twitter trend #KhadimHussainRizvi.
The tweet from US Central Command sent shockwaves across Twitter. Several analysts, commentators, and internet users were left bemused by the message and pointed out in their tweets.
Analyst Hassan Akbar commented on the tweet and asked if the tweet came from the original account of the US Central Command-Urdu.
— Hassan Akbar (@hass_akbr) November 20, 2020
Soon after the faux pas, the US Central Command not only deleted the tweet but even suspended the account as well. US Central Command did not provide any justification for the error. However, it left a bad impression as several US-based analysts and commentators slammed them for expressing condolence on Rizvi’s death who openly attacked religious minorities and promoted hardcore and rigorous values among its followers.
The ill-informed tweet perhaps reflected the lack of knowledge of the media team of US Central Command on the whereabouts of Rizvi in Pakistan.
US-based analyst Michael Kugelman also commented on the controversy in his tweet. “CENTCOM’s Urdu-language account has deleted its tweet offering condolences to Khadim Rizvi. I’m not surprised. It made little sense for CENTCOM to post what it did. No good explanation, other than an inexperienced hand manning the account,” said Kugelman in his tweet.
CENTCOM's Urdu-language account has deleted its tweet offering condolences to Khadim Rizvi. I'm not surprised.
It made little sense for CENTCOM to post what it did. No good explanation, other than an inexperienced hand manning the account.
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) November 20, 2020
Khadim Rizvi death: Twitter reacts to PM Khan’s condolence
Kugelman had also objected to Prime Minister Imran Khan expressing condolence on the death of Rizvi.
“On the passing of Maulana Khadim Hussain Rizvi, my condolences go to his family. Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji’un,” PM Imran Khan had tweeted on his death.
“Pakistani cleric Khadim Rizvi, who died today, led a movement that not only spews hate speech about religious minorities, but that has also called for judges to be killed and for soldiers to mutiny. Pakistan’s prime minister just tweeted condolences to his family,” wrote Kugelman in his tweet.
I know. I wasn't suggesting he should've said negative things. I'm struck how he issued the condolences as opposed to saying silent. He doesn't do that for every one who passes away. Clearly it's an indication of Rizvi's & TLP's importance and influence, despite the odious views. https://t.co/FND0PmAvXN
— Michael Kugelman (@MichaelKugelman) November 19, 2020
Prominent anchorperson, Moeed Pirzada, addressed the reservations of Kugelman in the tweet.
Read more: TLP Leader Khadim Hussain Rizvi passed away
“Michael, In Islamic conventions, when someone dies you don’t say negative things about them but just express condolence & wish the departed soul well, that is why every public figure including the PM has to do it! that’s the cultural norm – it does not mean what you derive!,” wrote Dr. Pirzada.
Kugelman, however, responded to the tweet of a Pakistani journalist and said that he found PM Khan condoling the death of Rizvi as unusual because he does not do it for everyone.
“I know. I wasn’t suggesting he should’ve said negative things. I’m struck by how he issued the condolences as opposed to staying silent. He doesn’t do that for everyone who passes away. It’s an indication of Rizvi’s & TLP’s importance and influence, despite the odious views,” replied.