pakistan
Friday Jul 16 2021
By
Web Desk

Watch: PM Imran Khan claps back at Indian journalist who accosted him in Uzbekistan

By
Web Desk
Prime Minister Imran Khan responds to the ANI journalist after attending a conference in Uzbekistan today. Photo: ANI Twitter video screengrab
Prime Minister Imran Khan responds to the ANI journalist after attending a conference in Uzbekistan today. Photo: ANI Twitter video screengrab

Accosted on the sidelines of an international conference in Uzbekistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan had a satisfying clapback for an Indian journalist who attempted to embarrass him with the old "Can terrorism and talks go hand in hand?" line New Delhi has grown fond of repeating. 

"Imran sahab, just answer a small question," the journalist, associated with India's notorious Asian News International (ANI) agency, asked the premier as he was departing after addressing a conference on Central and South Asian countries in Tashkent.

"Can talks and terrorism go together? This is a simple question for you from India," asked the unidentified journalist. 

The prime minister, however, seemed unfazed by the challenge. 

"We have communicated to India that we have been waiting for so long to exist together as civilised neighbours," he responded coolly. 

"But what can we do, when this RSS's ideology has come in the way?" he sniped back. 

As the prime minister and his entourage turned to leave, the journalist started hounding PM Khan, shouting his name in an attempt to get another question in. 

As the prime minister's security detail moved to keep the journalist away, an exasperated Sheikh Rasheed could be heard saying, "Hatt na yar (move away, man)!" 

ANI had shared the video on their Twitter account, attempting to spin the encounter by claiming that the Pakistani prime minister had 'evaded' a question on whether Islamabad controlled the Taliban or not.

However, the tweet wasn't well received across the border either, with Twitter user Ammad Ansari wondering when Indian news channels — often derogatively referred to as 'Godi Media' for their tendency to 'sit in the lap' of the Narendra Modi government — would muster up enough courage to grill Indian ministers the same way that this journalist had attempted to put the Pakistani premier on the spot. 

However, it was another user, Shahzad Khan, who took the cake with his Bollywood-themed comeback to ANI's chest-thumping. 

It bears mentioning that ANI had featured prominently in the EU DisInfoLab's groundbreaking revelations in December 2020 regarding worldwide disinformation networks run by actors associated with the Indian government to malign Pakistan.

ANI, in particular, had 'amplified' fake news and disinformation forwarded to it by fake platforms in a bid to tarnish Pakistan's name over the course of a 15-year campaign run by the Srivastava Group, which works to advance New Delhi's interests through shadowy means.