Saudi Arabian foreign minister is expected to visit Islamabad on Thursday in what many critics term as damage control exercise after Pakistan suddenly pulled-out from the Kuala Lumpur summit in Malaysia.
PM Imran Khan had accepted Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s invitation to the KL summit which was to offer “an international platform for Islamic leaders, intellectuals and scholar to discuss, exchange ideas about the issues revolving in the Muslim world.” However, Pakistan abruptly pulled out from the much-anticipated summit.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that the reason why Pakistan PM Imran Khan decided to boycott the Kuala Lumpur summit was due to Saudi Arabia’s threats of economic sanctions.
According to the reports Erdogan, while speaking to Turkish media representatives, said that it was not the first time that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had put pressure on a country for doing or not doing certain things.
“Unfortunately, we see that Saudi Arabia pressures Pakistan. Now, there are promises that the country has given to Pakistan regarding the central bank. However, more than that, there are 4 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia.
They (threaten by saying that they) would send (Pakistanis) back and re-employ Bangladeshis instead,” Erdogan was quoted as saying. He added that the kingdom has also threatened to withdraw money it had deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan.
Earlier, Pakistani Foreign Minister Qureshi said that Islamabad had pulled out of the summit due to concerns by Saudi Arabia that the meeting could create a new bloc that would rival the existing 57-member state Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), its headquarters in Riyadh.