Pakistan Tehereek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader and former human rights minister Shireen Mazari blasted the US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome for touring what she called ‘sensitive’ areas of the Pakistan-Afghan border. However, her vitriol was termed by a Twitter user an ‘own goal’ that she scored against her own party as the ambassador was hosted by the PTI-controlled Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government on his visit.
Mazari — a London School of Economic graduate who has become known as one of the most outspoken critics of the United States and Pakistan’s establishment — put out a strongly worded tweet on Sunday.
She called Ambassador Blome a ‘viceroy’ and linked his visit to the Torkham border with the ouster of Imran Khan.
“US envoy & his gang flying over sensitive areas of Pak on way to Torkham & surveying lay of land + official briefing & red carpet!Areas ordinary Pak citizens cant go! Blome Viceroy in all but name & arrogance writ large? One more US regime change conspiracy agenda item fulfilled!”
Blome visited Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 3 and 4, met with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and donated 36 vehicles to KP Health Department.
US officials were photographed with both Mahmood Khan and KP Finance Minister Taimur Saleem Khan Jhagra. Photos of Jhagra receiving vehicles from US officials went viral on Friday and Saturday.
“Ambassador Blome visited the Torkham border crossing to see first-hand how the border contributes to trade and economic activities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. This included viewing the 46-kilometer Peshawar-Torkham Road, an $87 million U.S. government construction project which has reduced the cost of travel and vehicle maintenance by half, while facilitating commuters and traders each day,” read a statement from the US embassy in Pakistan issued on August 5.
“While in KP, Ambassador Blome and USAID Mission Director Reed Aeschliman also handed over 36 vehicles to the Department of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as part of U.S. government support for Pakistan to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic and help rapid response teams collect COVID-19 samples and monitor cases,” the statement said.
During his Torkham visit, the ambassador was received and briefed by IG FC (North) Major General Adil Yameen and officers of the XI Corp, also known as Peshawar Crop.
However, Mazari shared images from the briefing in her tweet.
Responding to her tweet, several Twitter users pointed out the fact that Ambassador Blome was hosted by the KP government.
“It’s called ‘an own goal’ … Does she know who accompanied Donald, no she doesn’t, KP officials,” said Wahid using Twitter handle OmniscientXo.
Others questioned why PTI’s KP government accepted vehicles from the United States when the party believed Washington was behind the ‘foreign conspiracy’ to remove Imran Khan.