PM Imran will not participate in upcoming Kuala Lumpur Summit: Malaysian PM Office

Published December 17, 2019
Malaysia's PM Mahathir Mohamad listens to Imran Khan during a welcoming ceremony at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya in November last year. — AFP
Malaysia's PM Mahathir Mohamad listens to Imran Khan during a welcoming ceremony at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya in November last year. — AFP

Prime Minister Imran Khan will not participate in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Summit, a statement by the Prime Minister's Office of Malaysia confirmed on Tuesday.

The statement said Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad received a call from Imran yesterday (Dec 16). "Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his regrets for not being able to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit," said the statement.

"Dr Mahathir appreciates Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to inform of his inability to attend the summit where the Pakistani leader was expected to speak and share his thoughts on the state of affairs of the Islamic world.

"Dr Mahathir would also like to correct some misinformation as was reported in Pakistan Today that alleged Dr Mahathir as saying that the KL Summit was intended to be a platform to replace the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation," added the statement.

According to sources within the Foreign Office, no official from Pakistan will attend the summit.

The summit, which is being participated by over 400 Muslim leaders, intellectuals, scholars and thinkers from 52 countries, will begin on Dec 18 in Kuala Lumpur, while the foreign leaders will meet on Dec 19 to explore new and workable solutions for problems afflicting the Muslim world. It is believed that Imran Khan had contributed to the idea of the summit during his trilateral meeting with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahatir bin Mohamad and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session. Mahatir and Erdogan are the driving force behind the new forum.

A day earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan had told reporters that a decision on Prime Minister Imran’s participation in the event would be taken on Wednesday (Dec 18) after his return from the ongoing overseas trip to Bahrain and Switzerland.

“The priorities, the national priorities are linked to national narrative and national interest,” Dr Awan explained, adding that the premier would hold consultations with all stakeholders before taking a decision on this matter. The decision would be taken in the light of his other engagements as well, she said, adding that discussions on the issue were, as of now, continuing within the government.

According to a diplomatic source, the reconsideration has been prompted by Saudi reservations. Imran had last Saturday travelled to Riyadh to assuage kingdom’s concerns and reportedly reassured Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman that his participation in the event would not be at the cost of Saudi interests. No reason from the government, however, has yet come forward.

Opinion

Women and autism
16 Apr 2021

Women and autism

Different assessment tools are needed to define and measure the subtle ways in which autistic women cope with the world around
Beyond the ban
16 Apr 2021

Beyond the ban

Formal bans do not translate into substantial dents.

Editorial

16 Apr 2021

Ban is no answer

THE government has officially banned the Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan and issued a notification accordingly. This...
16 Apr 2021

Slow recovery

THE pace of growth in large-scale manufacturing output continues to slow down, with LSM production contracting by...
16 Apr 2021

Ramazan profiteering

WITH the month of Ramazan underway, people have begun to feel the effects of galloping inflation even more. Prices...
Afghanistan exit
Updated 15 Apr 2021

Afghanistan exit

Afghanistan has suffered for decades as powerful local players have refused to compromise and have insisted on hogging power.
15 Apr 2021

New census

EARLIER this week, the Council of Common Interests approved the controversial National Population and Housing ...
15 Apr 2021

With no place to go

No matter where one looks, one can’t escape the heartrending sight of scores of children of all ages begging, ...