In an awkward turn of events, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's failed attempt to put on his headphone evoked a laugh from Russian President Vladimir Putin during their meeting yesterday on the sidelines of a regional summit in Uzbekistan.
This CrimeMinister is a constant embarrassment for Pakistan. Even President Putin had to eventually just laugh at this clumsy man. Pathetic. This is what conspirators wanted? To have by design a politician who would not only be a crook but also a pathetic apology for a PM? pic.twitter.com/mmEhLY7RZg— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) September 15, 2022
The device fell off Mr Sharif's ears during their talks in Samarkand where the 22nd summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) is underway. This triggered an eventual and audible laugh from Putin.
Initially, the Pakistan prime minister took a while to fix his headphone and asked an official to help as Putin waited for the dialogue to commence. But as they were about to begin their meeting it fell off his ears, and the Russian president couldn't control a suppressed yet audible laugh.
Mr Sharif faced criticism on social media with the workers of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, claiming the incident was an "embarrassment" for the country.
Meanwhile, one of the provincial chiefs the Opposition party shared another photo from the summit, describing the delegation led by Mr Sharif as "sitting idly like a beggar".
لیکن تصویر میں تو ایک فریق نوٹ لکھ رہا ہے اور دوسرا نکموں کی طرح بیکار بیٹھا ہوا ہے، لگتا تو یہی ہے کہ بیکار بیٹھا ہوا فریق بغیر کوئی کام کیے ہوئے یہاں بھی کسی بھیک کے اعلان کے انتظار میں ہے۔ https://t.co/dDaNp2ZchBpic.twitter.com/3yzIEpzshm— Qasim Khan Suri (@QasimKhanSuri) September 15, 2022
Retweeting a post by Mr Sharif that said he had a productive day in Samarkand, Qasim Khan Suri, former Deputy Speaker of Pakistan's National Assembly, said, "But in the picture, one party is writing a note and the other is sitting idly like a beggar."
The Pakistan delegation comprised of Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, and Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, besides Mr Sharif.
This is the first in-person summit of the SCO in the two years, shaking off Covid fears. It is being attended by the leaders of eight member nations, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who reached Samarkand last night.
During their meeting, Putin told Mr Sharif that Russia can supply gas to Pakistan as the necessary infrastructures are already there. Russia and Pakistan have other very interesting and ambitious projects, particularly in the energy sector, news agency PTI cited Putin as saying.
(With inputs from agencies)