Pak PM’s Gaffe: Imran Khan Sits as Leaders Arrive at SCO Summit

Realising he was the only one seated, Khan stood briefly, only to be seated again before the others did.

2 min read
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan attends a session of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.

In yet another faux pas, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan broke diplomatic protocol, this time at the opening ceremony of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek on Friday, 14 June.

In a video shared on the official Twitter handle of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Khan can be seen seated while everyone else stood when various heads of states arrived for the opening ceremony. Realising he was the only one seated, Khan stood briefly, only to be seated again before the others did.

This isn't the first time Khan broke diplomatic protocol. Earlier this month, during a meeting with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz on the sidelines of the 14th OIC summit in Saudi Arabia, Khan had spoken to Salman's interpreter and walked off before the message could be translated to the Saudi king, resulting in widespread criticism for apparently disrespecting the king, reported ANI.


Khan and the leaders of the SCO member countries, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, are attending the two-day summit in Kyrgyzstan's capital Bishkek. The SCO is a China-led 8-member economic and security bloc with India and Pakistan being admitted to the grouping in 2017.

In a veiled attack on Pakistan, Modi on Friday said that countries sponsoring, aiding and funding terrorism must be held accountable as he called for a global conference to combat the menace, reported PTI.

To combat the menace of terrorism, countries will have to come out of their narrow purview to unite against it, Modi said in the presence of his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan.

The two leaders also did not exchange any pleasantries during the dinner. Khan was reportedly seated three seats away from PM Modi at the dinner.

(With inputs from ANI and PTI.)

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