Pakistan and India were set to meet at this month’s United Nations General Assembly in New York to resume peace talks. This meeting was in the political interest of both countries since it was the first time that India and Pakistan were to come face to face ever since PTI came into power and improving relationships with India had been part of Imran Khan’s mandate.
But yesterday, in a weird turn of events, India canceled the meeting.
The Indian Ministry of External Affairs cited Pakistan’s ‘brutal killings of our security personnel’ and ‘the release of twenty postage stamps by Pakistan glorifying a terrorist and terrorism’ as reasons.
Not only that, but India also attacked Prime Minister Imran Khan, by saying that these ‘evil actions’ revealed the ‘true face’ of the new Prime Minister. These remarks add on to the pre-existing tensions between the two countries and Imran Khan did NOT like this sudden U-turn.
Prime Minister Imran Khan took to Twitter to express his disappointment at the meeting being canceled.
Disappointed at the arrogant & negative response by India to my call for resumption of the peace dialogue. However, all my life I have come across small men occupying big offices who do not have the vision to see the larger picture.
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) September 22, 2018
The tweet evidently set Pakistani and Indian twitter ablaze. Which is expected to be honest, a man of Khan’s stature so blatantly tweeting something like this was bound to ruffle feathers. And boy oh boy, ruffle feathers he did.
Some people loved the tweet
Whatever your political affiliations might be, you can’t deny that our generation isn’t used to seeing our Prime Minister respond in such a bold manner. In throwing shade at India, it could be argued that Prime Minister Khan has taken a step at letting his peers know that peace relies on mutual respect.
😂😂😂 dear india Ur now dealing with Imran Khan #PrimeMinisterImranKhan pic.twitter.com/m6HBVVv9RX
— Nabeel Chaudhry (@chaudhry_nabeel) September 22, 2018
OH BOY. Prime Minister Imran Khan with a master stroke! What a reply to India for their cheap and lame excuses of not initiating peace talks!!
Dear India, do not consider our 'Attempts for Peace' as our weakness. https://t.co/wwRNJnkj7Q
— Ubair Khan (@ubairkhaan) September 22, 2018
India’s language was non-diplomatic. Imran Khan has done the right thing.
— Nadir Daman | نادر دامان (@nadirdaman) September 22, 2018
Wasn’t happy when PM Imran Khan wrote to Narendra Modi, was very upset with negative and derogatory response from Indian MEA. However, IK’s straight and brutal tweet exposed India for what it is, scared & cornered bully. Peace with Honour & Dignity after solution of Kashmir Issue pic.twitter.com/znIuInUa6H
— Gen Ghulam Mustafa-R (@_GhulamMustafa_) September 22, 2018
Others in Pakistan thought it could’ve been handled better.
On the other end of the spectrum, there were some that Imran Khan’s response wasn’t very diplomatic. While India itself may have acted in an undesirable manner, maybe Pakistan shouldn’t have reacted in a somewhat similar way that could be called undignified.
Indian statement was terrible diplomacy and now PM Imran Khan has made sure that they aren’t the only ones capable of trampling on diplomatic norms #PakistanIndiaSpat https://t.co/hO40q9BKyP
— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) September 22, 2018
I stand with my Prime Minister Khan @ImranKhanPTI re India's undiplomatic, undignified behaviour but I also expect my PM Khan to observe restraint from personal response in such matters. It was @MEAIndia statement not meriting a direct response from a dignified PM #IndiaExposed
— Gharidah Farooqi (@GFarooqi) September 22, 2018
People from the Indian side also had much to add to this.
While there was no discussion around how the cancellation of peace talks was detrimental for both counties, most of the responses were focused on reacting to Imran Khan’s statement directly and talking shit – business as usual on Twitter spats :/
Dear Lord! @ImranKhanPTI your own citizens don't support you and you have the time Mr Prime Minister of Pakistan talking about superlatives like Big and Small.. pehle khud ki mulk k logo ki toh hifazat Karna seekhey pehle aap https://t.co/dkpFtXe5bB
— Abhijeet kar (@karabhijeet_kar) September 22, 2018
Because for people like you issuing a postal stamp of a terrorist is much more important than peace dialogues. Agree @ImranKhanPTI, Small Men do occupy big offices !! https://t.co/O6VohtCOMz
— Samir Abbas (@TheSamirAbbas) September 22, 2018
And some old allegations resurfaced…
In an actual democracy, small men can rise to big offices without the crutches of the Army. No surprises it is an alien concept for Imran Khan. https://t.co/r2ifXRgG9O
— Aashish Chandorkar (@c_aashish) September 22, 2018
Modi haters even chimed in.
Pakistan's PM Imran Khan describes Modi ' a small man occupying big office who does have the vision to see the larger picture.' What a perfect way to describe the 56-inch! https://t.co/Z88jOkGEcd
— Ashok Swain (@ashoswai) September 22, 2018
Our PM was even compared to Donald Trump…AGAIN.
So Imran Khan is the new recruit to the Donald Trump school of abuse-foreign-heads-of-state Twitter diplomacy. What a fall for a man with claims being more “cultured” and cosmopolitan than the average Pak politician https://t.co/N8ULr4Kozb
— Shekhar Gupta (@ShekharGupta) September 22, 2018
That in itself started a debate and responses started coming in from our side.
Tbh when compared with the inane star plus style language of indian MEA this is mild and actually a great put down. https://t.co/76U8ci3oXQ
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) September 22, 2018
However, some called it a “highschool-ish spat.”
though in case of this highschool-ish spat, one could say 'they started it'! hope Imran Khan's comment is not understood as a jibe at Modi's class origins https://t.co/q6vje6kMVy
— Ali Usman Qasmi (@AU_Qasmi) September 22, 2018
That’s a pretty big statement to come from a pretty big man. We’ll see how the Indian leaders respond and what sort of an impact this has on future political discourse. One thing we can all agree on though is that both countries seek to gain from the resumption of peace talks.
What did you think of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweet? Tell us in the comments!
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