Former cricketer and Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan, along with a section of Pakistani media, have deplored how its prime minister Nawaz Sharif was treated at the Arab Islamic American summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia over the weekend.
“I have been receiving a lot of messages from Pakistanis from across the world... they are embarrassed at how Pakistan's prime minister was treated during Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia,” Khan was quoted by Pakistani newspaper Express Tribune as saying.
At the Riyadh Summit, that was attended US President Donald Trump and leaders of Islamic nations, Sharif was not invited to address even as he was reported to have spent the entire flight to Riyadh rehearsing the speech.
Former Pakistani army chief Raheel Sharif, who heads the Islamic military coalition, was not asked to speak either.
The humiliation for Pakistan did not end here as Trump did not even mention Pakistan when he addressed the devastating effects of terrorism on countries like India, Russia, Australia and the United States.
In fact, in what seemed to be a veiled attack on Pakistan, Trump asked all Muslim countries to ensure that terrorists do not use their soil to launch attacks on other countries.
Imran Khan also lashed out at Nawaz Sharif for remaining silent when Trump spoke on isolating Iran, claiming that it funds arms, trains militias that spread terrorism and chaos, and pointed to Iran’s support for Syria’s Bashar al-Assad as he committed “unspeakable crimes”.
“Nawaz Sharif lost a big opportunity and the Pakistani people are extremely disappointed. If he didn't take a stand on what the Pakistani nation wants, then why he even bothered going there,” Khan told Pakistan-based The News International.
“Iran should have been a part of the Islamic military alliance and that differences between Muslim countries must be bridged, not widened,” he added.
Various Pakistani media houses bemoaned how the country was neglected at the summit where 55 Muslim-majority also participated.
“Leaders, who are not even facing menace of terrorism, were given chances to present their views, but Pakistan was neglected,” reported Daily Pakistan.
“The popular sentiment among the majority of Pakistani media delegation was that of a total humiliation of the sole Muslim nuclear power because not only there was no mention of Islamabad's role against global terrorism but also the prime minister of the "frontline state" was denied the opportunity to put forth its point of view,” a report published in Pakistani daily The Nation read.