Imran Khan was heading back to Pakistan after attending the United Nations General Assembly (Image: File)
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's plane had to turn mid-flight and return to New York after his plane developed a technical fault while heading to Pakistan. According to Pakistani media, the crew discovered a technical problem on board the jet, four hours after it left New York for Pakistan on Friday night. The details of the malfunction are unclear. The aircraft was forced to turn around near Toronto and landed in New York’s John F. Kennedy International airport.
According to media reports, Imran had taken off from New York Airport in a special jet borrowed from the Saudi government. Pakistan's Ambassador to United Nations Maleeha Lodhi, who had earlier seen off Imran, rushed back to the airport as the plane turned around.
Imran waited at the airport as technicians tried to fix the fault, However, he will now be able to depart only on Saturday morning (Saturday evening in India). Imran was escorted back to the Roosevelt Hotel where he was staying during his seven-day trip.
Earlier, Imran Khan had targeted India alleging human rights abuse in Kashmir and warned of another Pulwama like attack once the clampdown in the Valley is lifted in his speech at United Nations General Assembly.
This was Imran’s maiden speech to the UNGA and he went on for about 50 minutes, far exceeding the 15-20-minute time limit that leaders are expected to adhere to while making their national statements during the busiest time in the United Nations Headquarters.
Out of the 50-minutes that he spoke from the podium of the UN General Assembly hall, half of his speech was on India and Kashmir, drumming up a hysteria about a nuclear war.
India strongly hit back at Imran using the 'Right to Reply'. India slammed Imran's anti-India rant calling out Pakistan for supporting terrorism and long history of human rights abuse.
Vidisha Maitra, First Secretary Ministry of External Affairs, exercising India’s right of reply to Khan’s speech, slammed Imran for using the threat of nuclear war against India during his speech.
Maitra said on Friday night: "Rarely has the General Assembly witnessed such misuse, rather abuse, of an opportunity to reflect."She said the choice of Khan’s words to attack India, like "pogrom", "bloodbath", "racial superiority", "pick up the gun" and "fight to the end", reflected a "medieval mindset and not a 21st Century vision".
(With Agency Inputs)