10:43 GMT +319 January 2020
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    Amid the escalating row between India and Pakistan over the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region, which has seen armed clashes along the so-called Line of Control, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has become a meme thanks to the algorithms of the US-based search engine.

    Social media users have ridiculed Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, whose portrait Google suggests in the search result for the keyword “bhikari”, which means “beggar” in the Urdu language. Netizens are sharing screen grabs with the Google Images tab, showing, among other things, a bearded man with a pot who resembles the head of the Pakistani government.

    ​Some even referred to it as the joke of the century and said they just cannot control their laughter.

    ​Others used this opportunity to trash Khan and the state of the Pakistani economy.

    ​One of them even linked the results to the fact that Google’s CEO, Sundar Pichai, is Indian.

    ​The gaffe comes amid an escalation of tensions between India and Pakistan over the disputed Kashmir region. Both countries have been claiming the territory, the southern part of which lies in India's Jammu and Kashmir state, since the end of British rule in 1947. Despite a ceasefire having been reached in 2003 following several armed conflicts, instability has continued, leading to the emergence of various extremist groups. Tensions spiked earlier this year when the Indian military conducted airstrikes in the region in response to an attack orchestrated by a terrorist group based on the Pakistani side of Kashmir.

    On 5 August, Indian President Ram Nath Kovind signed a decree removing Article 370 of the Indian constitution, which had granted Jammu and Kashmir special status. Under the Indian government’s new initiative, Jammu and Kashmir will be divided into two territories. The move prompted protests from Islamabad and reportedly resulted in violent clashes along the Indian-Pakistani Line of Control, which led Pakistan to downgrade its diplomatic relations and suspend trade with India.


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    Twitter, Google, Imran Khan, Kashmir, Pakistan, India
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