Former United States (US) president Donald Trump has claimed that former premier Imran Khan secluded himself for a week after learning that the US had assassinated Iranian insurgency commander Qassem Soleimani.
Trump made this statement earlier this week while speaking at a campaign event in Houston, Texas, a city with a sizable Pakistani diaspora. Many PTI followers in Houston favour Trump because they believe that the Biden government is antagonistic to Imran Khan.
Soleimani was a key figure in Iran, directing the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force and playing an important role in Iran's Middle Eastern influence.
On January 3, 2020, he was slain by a US drone attack near Baghdad International Airport, only days before Trump departed the White House for the 46th president, Joe Biden. Trump plans to run for reelection in 2024.
Trump recalled discussing Soleimani's assassination with Imran Khan, saying, "They had a Pakistan Khan; he was a great cricket player, and he became the head of Pakistan." He described it as "the biggest moment of my (Imran's) life."
He stated that the then-prime minister also informed him, "When I heard that Soleimani had been killed, I left my office." I walked to my house. It was the biggest event that ever happened to me.”
Trump then began introducing Khan to his predominantly white American audience, saying, "He was the greatest cricket player." That's equivalent to being a great NFL or baseball player in America. He was thought to be the best-looking person around. He became the boss, Pakistan."
Trump elaborated on his meeting with Imran, claiming that the former Pakistani prime minister told him, "I left, and I contemplated for one week." It was the most important event of my life. That has never happened to me before." "Many people felt that way," Trump added.
He did not, however, specify when or where he had this chat with Imran Khan. Moreover, there is also no record of the two presidents speaking on the phone about Soleimani's killing.
The now-incarcerated PTI leader visited Washington from July 21 to July 23, 2019. He visited New York in September 2019 to address the UN General Assembly and met with Trump on September 23. Soleimani had not yet been assassinated when the two met. Trump's assertion that Khan went into seclusion after Soleimani's killing is also contested since Khan spoke at a rally in Mianwali the day after the tragedy and did not reference Soleimani's assassination.
Furthermore, the claim that Khan went from his office to his residence looks to be false, as his office was around 15 kilometers from his home, and as a prime minister, he could not have gone 15 kilometers alone without being seen.