Islamabad - The US embassy in Pakistan yesterday apologised for re-tweeting an anti-government statement by opposition lawmaker Ahsan Iqbal who claimed Prime Minister Imran Khan would fall after US President Donald Trump’s defeat in this month’s election to Joe Biden.

The embassy wrote in a tweet: “Dear Followers: The US Embassy Islamabad Twitter account was accessed last night without authorization. The U.S. Embassy does not endorse the posting or retweeting of political messages. We apologize for any confusion that may have resulted from the unauthorized post”.

Ehsan Iqbal had posted a tweet carrying a screenshot of an article by The Washington Post titled ‘Trump’s defeat is a blow for the world’s demagogues and dictators.’ “We have one in Pakistan too. He will be shown way out soon. Inshallah (God willing)!” he wrote without naming PM Imran Khan.

As soon as the post was retweeted by the official handle of the US embassy, a hashtag #AppologiseUSembassy started trending on Twitter with several federal ministers and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf followers hitting out at the embassy for breaching diplomatic norms. 

Iqbal had taunted Khan, saying he resembles Trump because of his alleged arrogance. Iqbal is a senior leader of the Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif. 

In response to the US embassy re-tweet, Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, said: “US Embassy still working in Trumpian mode in support of convicted absconder & intervening brazenly in our internal politics.” In another tweet, she said the “US Embassy must observe norms of diplomacy”.

The latest development came after many Pakistanis welcomed President-elect Joe Biden’s victory over Trump, who had friendly relations with PM Khan and had publicly praised him for his help in paving the way for the US-Taliban peace deal.

Last week, President Arif Alvi and Prime Minister Imran Khan congratulated US President-elect Joe Biden on his victory against Trump.

Prime Minister Imran Khan also congratulated Joe Biden and said that he looked forward to working with him to end illegal tax havens, and stealing of national wealth by corrupt leaders.  

“We will continue to work with the US for peace in Afghanistan and in the region,” Imran Khan said in a tweet.