Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Goes For A Toss As PM Imran Khan Cancels Malaysia Visit Under Saudi Pressure

Pakistan PM Imran Khan has cancelled his plans to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit which was planned and hosted by Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamed. The KL summit was christened ‘The Role of Development in Achieving National Security’.

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Though there has been no official announcement about the December 18-21 summit, a Foreign Office source said Pakistan will be “represented at the summit by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi”.

Among the most notable Muslim leaders who are expected to attend the summit include Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

Sources in the government informed that Khan has cancelled the visit following his meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Riyadh.

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Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2019 which many experts see as an alternative to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which has been timid in criticizing the so-called Indian annexation of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation was founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states and comprising 53 countries being Muslim-majority countries. The OIC has permanent delegations to the United Nations and the European Union and led by the Arab block. The official languages of the OIC are Arabic, English, and French.

The absence of Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies at the meeting, to be convened from Dec 18 to 21, and the presence of KSA’s arch-foes – Turkey, Qatar and Iran have really upset the Arab block as the KL summit is seen as an alternative to the OIC led by Saudi Arabia.

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The Malaysian PM had earlier stated that the Kuala Lumpur summit offers an alternative to the OIC, which many critics states has failed to protect Islamic perspective in the global arena.

Now Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi will be representing the country at the Kuala Lumpur Summit scheduled for December 18-20.

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