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How International Media Reacted To Ban On Word ‘Selected PM’ In National Assembly

On Monday, members of the opposition decided to challenge the recently imposed ban on the word ‘selected’. The term was coined by Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto a few months ago, while questioning the legitimacy of the 2018 national elections that brought Prime Minister Imran Khan to power.

Since the ban, #SelectedPM has been trending on twitter. International news organizations extensively covered the controversial move.

New York Times

An article published by The New York Times earlier today stated that the term ‘Selected Prime Minister’ directly implies that his election victory was engineered with the help of Pakistans Military. The article documents the origins of the controversy, and then mentions how one law maker, Maryum Aurangzeb was reprimanded for using the phrase after the ban had been imposed, after which she replaced the word ‘selected’ with ‘handpicked’, reaffirming her stance, only in different words. The New York Times noted that “whether they are defying the order, digging into the thesaurus, or defending the ban as proper, lawmakers are now making the order itself the focus of debate.”

In response to the oppositions defense of the right to use of the term, government lawmakers were quoted. Aliya Hamza Malik stated that “By using this expression, the opposition is discrediting not only the Parliament but also the people of Pakistan.”

Gulf News 

The daily english newspaper that operates out of Dubai in the United Arab Emirates commented on the covered the controversy too. They seemed to explicitly support the government in the ongoing war of words by opening with ” Is Imran Khan a ‘selected’ prime minister of Pakistan? Certainly not.”

The article highlights how the now controversial phrase eventually became more popular among lawmakers. It ended with a quote from Imran Khans speech that he gave after winning the elections, “I did not climb on any dictator’s shoulders; I reached this place after struggling for 22 years.” The statement was referring to the accusation that ex-prime minister Nawaz Sharif was brought to power with assistance from the military dictator Zia-Ul-Haq.

Times of India

The article in the Times of India (TOI) commented on the issue by saying that it was widely believed  in Pakistan that Imran Khan was “the blue eyed baby” of the powerful military, which assisted him in winning the elections. The article quoted Pakistan Peoples Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto;” It seems weird to see you banning one word….This ban has been imposed because of the prime minister’s ego…”


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