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After hours-long delay, Imran Khan departs for Pakistan on commercial aircraft


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday departed for Pakistan on a commercial aircraft, after a special jet given to him by the Saudi Arabian government, had developed a technical glitch minutes after taking off from New York airport.
Khan and his entourage left New York at around 2 pm (local time) and are enroute to Jeddah on a Saudi Airlines' flight. The plane is expected to make a technical halt in Jeddah on Sunday at around 8:40 am, The Dawn reported.
After a brief stopover in Jeddah, Khan is expected to reach Pakistan on Sunday evening.
On Friday evening, Khan and his delegation had departed from New York's John F Kennedy International Airport on the special jet given by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, during the prime minister's visit to Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
However, the aircraft turned back and made an emergency landing at the New York airport after a technical glitch developed.
Pakistan's envoy to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, who had earlier seen off Khan, rushed back to the airport.
Khan and his entourage waited at the airport for some time as technicians were trying to fix the fault. However, the technicians said that glitch would be rectified by Saturday morning.
Lodhi, meanwhile, had escorted Khan back to the Roosevelt Hotel in the city, where he was staying during his week-long visit to the US for attending the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly (UNGA).
Officials had remarked earlier that if the plane is not fixed by Saturday morning, Khan would take a commercial flight back to Pakistan.
On Friday, Khan had delivered his maiden speech at the UNGA, which exceeded the allotted time limit of around 15 to 20 minutes. In his over half-an-hour speech, Khan continued his anti-India rant over Kashmir, drumming up hysteria over a nuclear war with India.
Hitting back at Khan's anti-India rhetoric address, India said the Pakistan Prime Minister's threat of unleashing nuclear devastation qualifies as brinksmanship and not statesmanship.

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First Published: Sep 29 2019 | 3:09 AM IST

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