Riyadh, October 7: The Pakistani government, left embarrassed after a leading weekly claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman recalled the private jet flying Imran Khan back from New York, issued a statement of denial. An official spokesperson of Khan's PTI government told an English daily that the reports are "fabricated" and "totally false", adding that the publisher's intent is to maline the Prime Minister's image. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Called Back Imran Khan’s Plane, Claims Pakistan Magazine.
"It is totally false and absolutely carries no truth whatsoever," a Pakistani government spokesperson was quoted as saying by The Express Tribune. His response came a day after a report in Friday Times -- a weekly magazine -- said the Crown Prince was irked by Khan exhibiting deep ties with Iran and forming an Islamic bloc with Turkey and Malaysia.
""Inexplicably, the Saudi crown prince, Mohammad bin Salman, was so alienated by some dimensions of the Pakistani prime minister's diplomacy in New York – he couldn't have been happy at the prospect of Imran Khan, Recip Tayyip Erdogan and Mahathir Mohammad planning to jointly represent the Islamic bloc, nor with Pakistan's interlocution with Iran without his explicit approval — that he visibly snubbed Imran by ordering his private jet to disembowel the Pakistani delegation," says the editorial written by veteran journalist Najam Sethi in the Friday Times.
Rejecting Sethi's claim, the Pakistani government spokesperson said he is attempted to project a “baseless self-created theory with respect to the premier’s meetings with the leaders of Turkey and Malaysia in New York."
"Only people with vested interests would come up with such concocted and baseless assertions,” he further said, adding that Islamabad and Riyadh's bilateral relations are smooth as ever, with the two nation enjoying "cordial and brotherly" ties.