Husain Haqqani gets into Twitter spat with Chinese envoy


Former Pakistani ambassador to the United States (US) Husain Haqqani actively uses Twitter and is known for his hard-hitting stance against Pakistan’s foreign policy.

Haqqani recently had himself in trouble after sharing an online article titled “China demands that Uighur Muslims eat Pork”. The tweet was noticed by Lijian Zhao, deputy chief of the Chinese Embassy in Islamabad, who responded to the allegations.

“Joke of the day. A person without soul and nationality is joining a groundless attack against China. What a pity!” he said in reply to Haqqani who then called it a “pitiful act of the day”.

Haqqani referred to Zhao as “a Chinese diplomat who dropped ‘Muhammad’ from his name attacks me for tweeting an article rather than denying the article from @thetimes.”

Reacting to the veracity of the claims made in the article, the Chinese envoy called it a “groundless anti-China propaganda”. He said that the Chinese government protects its citizens’ right to freedom of religious belief and people of all ethnic groups enjoy freedom of religious belief in accordance with law.

Meanwhile, Cynthia D Ritchie, a freelance producer who has visited Pakistan multiple times and shot a documentary showing the beauty of the northern areas in the country, was not happy with the former Pakistani ambassador’s remarks.

She said, “And a former ‘Ambassador’ who has lost all sense of patriotism and loyalty to his country of origin, thinks it’s ok to counter-attack a Chinese diplomat for removing Muhammad from his name? @zlj517 has done more for Pakistan during his tenure than you have your entire career.”

Ritchie was of the view that “some jokers manufacture garbage just to try and stay relevant.”

On October 5, a special court in Pakistan issued permanent arrest warrants for former ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani.

During the hearing of Memogate case headed by Special Judge Irum Niazi, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) presented its report, alleging Haqqani of embezzling $2 million.

On January 3, 2013, he left the country on a four-day notice with the commitment to come back. He, however, did not return to the country from the United States.

Haqqani had served as ambassador in the US from 2008 to 2011 and was removed for his alleged role in the Memogate controversy. He had also served as ambassador to Sri Lanka from 1992 to 1993.