DesPardes + PKonweb

US Embassy in Islamabad Apologizes Over ‘Unauthorized’ Political Retweet

The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan has apologized for retweeting an anti-government statement from an opposition leader who suggested Prime Minister Imran Khan would fall from power in the wake of President Donald Trump’s election defeat.

“We have one in Pakistan too. He will be shown the way out soon,” the Tuesday tweet by opposition lawmaker Ahsan Iqbal said, without naming Khan directly. The comment was retweeted Tuesday on the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad’s account.

In its tweet on Wednesday, the embassy said its Twitter account had been accessed 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,” it said. It provided no additional details.

In response to the U.S. Embassy retweet, Pakistan’s minister for human rights, Shireen Mazari, took to Twitter, saying: “US Embassy still working in Trumpian mode in support of convicted absconder & intervening brazenly in our internal politics.” In another tweet, she said the “US Embassy must observe norms of diplomacy.”

Mazari’s reference to “convicted absconder” was apparently Nawaz Sharif, the former prime minister of Pakistan, who is in UK and been staging a campaign against the state and Khan’s government, a PTI government official told DesPardes on condition of anonymity as he’s not authorized to comment officially.

Moeed Pirzada, a senior Pakistani media professional and analyst while commenting on the incident on social media said, “US Embassy Islamabad apologizing for sharing this stupid political tweet was needed & much welcome!”. “But how an unauthorized person could access US Embassy’s Twitter Handle (safest institution worldwide)? Hope the Embassy traces & punishes this culprit!”.

The latest development came after many Pakistanis welcomed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, who had friendly relations with Khan and had publicly praised him for his help in paving the way for the U.S.-Taliban peace deal.

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