Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has angered Saudi citizens with his ‘insulting’ seating posture during a recent meeting with the Saudi ambassador to Pakistan.
His posture was termed disrespectful by Pakistani observers as well.
While meeting with Ambassador Nawaf bin Said al-Malki, in Islamabad on Tuesday, Qureshi was caught sitting with one leg crossed and the sole of his shoe pointing towards Al-Malki. In Arab culture, it is considered rude to display the sole of one’s shoe towards a person.
Saudis and Pakistanis alike had a lot to say about the discourtesy.
“Pakistani foreign minister receives Saudi ambassador in Pakistan with unmatched hospitality,” said one Saudi user.
Another Saudi wrote, “What is this arrogant minister? Is this how you greet guests in Pakistan? Unfortunately, I am very upset with the way the Pakistani minister is sitting in front of the Pakistani guest Saudi ambassador .”
An overseas Pakistani had this to say about the mishap: “I am Pakistani, I live in Saudi Arabia for work. The way Shah Mahmud Qureshi sat is considered flawed in Arab countries. I am ashamed and sorry that our foreign minister has no sense of diplomatic etiquette.”
One Pakistani was more understanding about the diplomatic blunder.
According to the Saudi Embassy in Pakistan, the ministers had met to discuss regional current events and “review bilateral relations between the two brotherly countries.”
Qureshi angered the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia earlier this year when he criticized the country for not doing more in Kashmir.