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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

US Embassy Pakistan retweets Ahsan Iqbal’s tweet taking a jab at PM Imran Khan and then apologizes

The account retweeted a tweet from Ahsan Iqbal which read 'We have one in Pakistan too. He will be shown way out soon. Insha Allah'

Yesterday, a tweet was issued from the US embassy handle of Islamabad, which is the official handle of US embassy in Pakistan. Its twitter account has 335k followers. The account retweeted a tweet from Ahsan Iqbal which read ‘We have one in Pakistan too. He will be shown way out soon. Insha Allah’. Ahsan Iqbal wrote this on the post he shared from The Washington Post, US’ leading newspaper; that read ‘Trump’s defeat is a blow for the world’s demagogues and dictators’.


Social media users protested at the US embassy tweet and asked for it to apologise and explain what happened. #ApologiseUSembassy started trending.

The tweet was taken down a couple of hours later, however, it does raise the question as to why the US embassy of Pakistan retweeted it in the first place and what was the motive behind it? Was it a mistake or was it done intentionally to take a jab at Imran Khan?

On Wednesday 11, 2020 Imran Ismail, Governor of Sindh, shared a screen recording of US embassy’s twitter profile where Ahsan Iqbal’s tweet was retweeted, and wrote “This is utterly absurd, how can u  @usembislamabad retweet against our PM @ImranKhanPTI containing derogatory remarks? This is against diplomatic protocols. An apology is needed with immediate clarification if fake or hacked. @ForeignOfficePk must take required action.”

Hours after the tweet was taken down, US embassy Islamabad has issued an apology on their account that reads ‘Dear Followers: The U.S. Embassy Islamabad Twitter account was accessed last night without authorization. The U.S. Embassy does not endorse the posting or retweeting of political messages. We apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from the unauthorized post’

Social media users, however, are questioning whether the embassy’s claims are true. They are asking it to name and shame the person who had accessed their account last night. For some, it is difficult to grasp how an un-authorized person can access their account so easily.

Another prominent name in Pakistan’s politics, and the minster for human rights, Shireen Mazari is not satisfied with the US embassy Islamabad’s delayed apology. She expressed her dissatisfaction in a tweet that read ‘This not good enough esp after great delay! Account was clearly not hacked so someone who had access to it used it “without authorisation”. Unacceptable that someone working in US Embassy pushing a particular pol party’s agenda – has serious consequences incl staff visas scrutiny’.

Read more: PDM is upping the ante in its mission to overthrow Imran Khan’s government