Putin’s ‘small table’ in meeting with Pakistan PM Imran stirs debate
Moscow: Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in Moscow on an official visit when the Russian strongman Vladimir Putin ordered his troops into Ukraine.
Khan’s opponents raised questions at the timing of his visit, saying it could anger the West. They were of the view that Pakistan had little to gain from the prime minister’s visit amid the war imposed on Ukraine.
After the meeting with the Russian president, a carefully drafted statement was issued by the Pakistan Foreign Office which also mentioned the conflict.
As videos and pictures of the two leaders’ meeting surfaced online, Khan’s supporters and some journalists couldn’t help noticing the table placed between them.
Journalist Anas Mallick said, “Western leaders get the longer Table, Pakistan PM Imran Khan gets the shorter table in his all important meeting with Russian President Putin upon his first-ever bilateral visit to Russia as PM – Quite some messaging there by Putin to the West.”
Khan’s supporters’ think it signified friendship and closeness between the two leaders as Putin have recently been seen meeting world leaders while sitting across a big table.
Michael Kugelman, political commentator and Deputy Director of Asia Progam said,”After their meeting If Imran Khan was seated at a small table with Putin because he agreed to take a Russian PCR test, that’s one thing. But if it’s because Putin wanted to signify friendship/closeness-Khan’s supporters will cheer this, but in reality it would be Khan getting played and makes for bad optics.”
Pakistani journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi also noticed the table and shared the picture of the two leaders with caption, “It is a very small table.”
While the exact story behind the table is not officially known, it is not true that Khan is the only leader who seated at a small table with Putin.
Below is a collection of pictures that shows the Russian leader meeting world leaders while seated at the same small table.