Adding to his increasing list of factual errors, erroneous attributions and geographical fumbles, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday misquoted national poet and philosopher Allama Iqbal but was quick to admit his mistake after it was pointed out on social media.
Taking to micro-blogging website Twitter earlier today, the prime minister shared the following image to his nearly 12 million followers.
This poem by Iqbal reflects how I try to lead my life. I urge our youth to understand and absorb the poem of the great Iqbal and I guarantee them that it will release their great God-given potential that we all possess as His greatest creation Ashraf ul Mukhluqat. pic.twitter.com/oyxkTlMrdc— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 6, 2020
"This poem by Iqbal reflects how I try to lead my life. I urge our youth to understand and absorb the poem of the great Iqbal and I guarantee them that it will release their great God-given potential that we all possess as His greatest creation Ashraf ul Mukhluqat," he tweeted along with the image.
Twitter users were quick to point out the mistake telling the premier to fact-check before posting anything on social media, with "Iqbal" becoming a top trend on Twitter in Pakistan.
Former ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani said that the quote was not from Iqbal or any of his book.
This poem is not Iqbal’s & is not in any of Iqbal’s books. Probably lifted from the internet, where many amateurs attribute their ‘poems’ to well known poets. Sad that the Prime Minister of Pakistan does not even have a staffer who knows his supposedly favorite poet’s work. https://t.co/rABuJ5OoB9— Husain Haqqani (@husainhaqqani) June 6, 2020
"Not every Whatsapp message is to be believed," was the rejoinder from journalist Naila Inayat.
haqeeqat hoti nahin har WhatsApp forward.. https://t.co/dKPxm07L3O— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) June 6, 2020
Others were quick to jump on the bandwagon and heap ridicule on the premier for the mistake.
you misquoted the country’s national poet and got instantly exposed for the unlettered, shallow airhead that you are. Don’t rationalize it, delete the tweet if not your account https://t.co/262wUMx977— Mohammad Taqi (@mazdaki) June 6, 2020
اب یوتھیوں پر فرض ہو گیا ہے وہ اس کو علامہ اقبال کی نظم ثابت کر دکھائیں https://t.co/PyCpaqnhiu— Faysal Chaudary (@Faysal_Chaudary) June 6, 2020
PM tweets an imposter's poem as Sir Dr Mohammad Iqbal's poem. Most probably he got it via whatsapp from one of his compatriots who was too eager to get noticed. @ImranKhanPTI Don't make this office a laughing stock for heaven's sake. https://t.co/CEkvnqFiIq— Marvi Sirmed (@marvisirmed) June 6, 2020
قومی شاعر پر کسی اور کی شاعری مسلط کرنا۔ آپ بلاشبہ اپنی زندگی اور حکومت دونوں اسی طرح گزار رہے ہیں۔ آدھ پکی معلومات اور لاعلمی کی بنیاد پر۔ نیم حکیم اور نیم ملا کا امتزاج- https://t.co/6SLne55eUa— Dr. Nauman (@naumanuhk) June 6, 2020
Journalist Hamid Mir, meanwhile, pointed out that the poem was penned by Assad Maroof.
PM sahib this poem was written by Assad Maroof not by Allamah Iqbal https://t.co/hxRqFZxegC— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) June 6, 2020
Others pointed out that anyone acquainted with Iqbal's work would know that the poem wasn't among his works due to the style and diction used.
Even casual readers of Iqbal’s work could see through and figure out that it was not a poem of the great poet — the diction, the style was not of Iqbal.— Salman Masood (@salmanmasood) June 6, 2020
The tweet about the poem itself was a bit off.
Could it be that a staffer tweeted it and PM IK had just given his assent?
Later, after realising the mistake, PM Imran posted another tweet, saying that the poem he earlier posted was not Iqbal's but the message in it was what he stood by and followed.
I stand corrected - this is not Allama Iqbal's poem but the message conveyed is what I have stood by and tried to follow and if our youth absorbs this message it will release their great God- given potential that all of us possess as His greatest creation Ashraf ul Mukhluqat. https://t.co/SvDVrakc5d— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 6, 2020
This is the latest in a spate of faux pas for the prime minister who has previously attributed a quote by Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore to Lebanese-American poet Kahlil Jibran.
PM Imran gets it wrong again, mistakes Rabindranath Tagore's quote for Kahlil Jibran's
PM shared the quote saying: “I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that life is all joy.”
Those who discover and get to understand the wisdom of Gibran's words, cited below, get to live a life of contentment. pic.twitter.com/BdmIdqGxeL— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) June 19, 2019
He then wrote that those who understand Jibran’s words are able to live a life of contentment.
Before that, the premier infamously mixed up France with Japan while giving an example of how the country set up joint industries in the border region to bolster economic ties with Germany.
If PM Imran is to be believed, Germany and Japan share a border
“The more trade you have with each other your ties automatically become stronger… Germany and Japan killed millions of their civilians until after the Second World War when they both decided to have joint industries on their border regions,” he said while speaking at an event in Tehran.
Japan is an island country in East Asia located in the Pacific. Germany is in central Europe. They had the same location during the 2nd World War in which they were allies. But PM Imran thinks otherwise and says so before international audience. pic.twitter.com/aR45Y7T2bP— Syed Talat Hussain (@TalatHussain12) April 22, 2019
In December 2018, he referred to Africa as an “emerging country” in a speech during the Envoys Conference on Economic Diplomacy.
"Africa is an emerging COUNTRY". Haters gonna hate but my kaptaan knows best, Africa is no continent 🌍😂 pic.twitter.com/TtY7rkW7GZ— Naila Inayat नायला इनायत (@nailainayat) December 29, 2018