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People Love The Way Sadiq Khan Responded To A Reporter Asking Him If Visiting Pakistan "Felt Like Coming Home"

"Home's south London, mate," the mayor of London replied.

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During Sadiq Khan's historic trip across the India–Pakistan border this week, the London mayor was asked by a BBC London reporter: "Does it feel like coming home?"

Blinder from @SadiqKhan on BBC news just now.

Khan, whose parents were born in India and lived in Pakistan before emigrating to the UK, responded immediately by saying: "Home's south London, mate."

"But it’s good to be in Pakistan," Khan added with a grin. "It’s good to come from India, home of my parents and grandparents."

The BBC reporter who asked the question was Karl Mercer, who has been travelling with Khan on the mayor's trip to India and Pakistan this week.

@mayoroflondon walks from India to Pakistan calls it “important to do and symbolic”..does it feel like homecoming “…

Khan made the walk across the Wagah border between India and Pakistan, becoming the first British politician to do so in a generation, despite foreign officials having reportedly discouraged the mayor from visiting both countries during the same visit.

Earlier in Wednesday night's BBC London report, Khan did speak about how important it was for him to visit places like the Golden Temple in Amritsar, while Punjab's chief minister Shehbaz Sharif also described Khan's visit as a "homecoming".

"My family are from this part of the world, from the Indian subcontinent," Khan said. "My grandparents, great-grandparents, and forefathers are from this part of the world."

Narinder Nanu / AFP / Getty Images

A BBC spokesperson told BuzzFeed News, the reporter's question was in the context of the chief minister's "homecoming" remark.

“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.”

Nevertheless, lots of people criticised Mercer for the way he framed his question, and the BBC for airing it.

Bloody hell. 'home'. Perfect example of the subtle 'go back to your own country' racism that the news outlets perpe…

And people also had praise for the way Khan handled it.

Go back to your own country @SadiqKhan ...oh! "Home is saaf London mate" well played 😂

BBC journalist asks @sadiqkhan what it's like 'coming home' because he's visiting Pakistan. Beautiful response.

I love this, both for the sentiment and as a good example of how joyously brilliant Sadiq is at politics.


Earlier this week the BBC apologised for using footage of actor Amitabh Bachchan while covering the death of legendary Indian actor Shashi Kapoor.

Mark Di Stefano is a media and politics correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.

Contact Mark Di Stefano at

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