LAHORE: London Mayor Sadiq Khan tactfully tackled an awkward situation which arose when a media reporter asked how “coming home” felt like to him as the mayor stepped across the Wagha Border into Pakistan.
As Sadiq Khan met with dignitaries from this side of the border, BBC reporter Karl Mercer jumped the question – “What does it feel like coming home?” – on him.
Apparently ready for the situation, Mr Khan replied with a swift “Home is south London, mate.”
However, he tactfully went on to add, “But it’s good to be in Pakistan, it’s good to come from India – home of my parents and grandparents.”
The mayor was born and raised in Tooting, South London.
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His parents are of Indian Muslim heritage and settled in Pakistan with his grandparents following the Partition of India in 1947.
They then moved to London in 1968, where his father famously became a bus driver, and Mr Khan was born two years later.
During the trip, he became the first ever London mayor to take a trade mission to both India and Pakistan.
He said while being interviewed: “My family are from this part of the world, from the Indian subcontinent.
“My grandparents, great-grandparents, and forefathers are from this part of the world.”
BBC has defended their reporter’s bold question by pointing out that it originated from the fact that many, including Punjab’s chief minister Shehbaz Sharif, had called the mayor’s trip “homecoming”.
Guardian quoted a BBC spokesperson, saying: “Our reporter asked the mayor a question in the context of the trip being referred to by senior politicians in the region as a homecoming. The full answer the mayor gave shows he understood the context of the question.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “Our reporter asked the mayor a question in the context of the trip being referred to by senior politicians in the region as a homecoming. The full answer the mayor gave shows he understood the context of the question.”
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