Islamabad A photograph of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan reading William Dalrymple’s latest book ‘The Anarchy’ on his flight to Jeddah with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi peeking over from his seat has gone viral on social media.
Dalrymple’s new book ‘The Anarchy: The East India Company, Corporate Violence and the Pillage of an Empire’ deals with the East India Company, its history and doings in India.
In his speech at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Friday, Imran Khan had spoken about people taking looted money out of developing nations and investing it in rich countries in the West.
The image of Imran Khan reading the book has been met with mixed reactions, with the Pakistan Prime Minister’s supporters praising him (and comparing him with a certain former Prime Minister known for reading off notecards), and others calling the photograph staged, citing his glowing unlocked phone screen beside him as evidence that moments before the photograph was snapped, Imran Khan was on his phone and had picked up the book for a photo op, Samaa TV reported.
But perhaps the funniest reaction came from the author himself.
Dalrymple tweeted an image of the Pakistan Prime Minister reading his book, with a tongue in cheek comment: “Some guy in a salvar kemise reading the Anarchy…”
The author was responding to a Twitter user asking: “What book is he reading?”
Another twitter user posted: “There he goes again, starting off another history book. Anarchy by @DalrympleWill — what’s @narendramodi reading?”
Qureshi was poked by the twiterati for leaning over from his seat to see what Imran Khan was reading.
One Twitter user posted: “Buy one, read one free? Someone should present a copy to Shah Mahmood Qureshi!”
To which Dalrymple replied jovially: “Confiscated at customs?”
Another Twitter user from Pakistan posted: “Just walked into a bookstore in Islamabad with half of the visitors purchasing @DalrympleWill’s ‘The Anarchy.’ Guessing @ImranKhanPTI’s picture reading it has something to do with that.”
To which the author responded, “Hahaha… I’m very pleased to hear that!”
The author was in Toronto for the three-day Toronto edition of the Jaipur Literature Festival.