According to diplomatic sources, Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled his scheduled visit to Malaysia under pressure from Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi will now represent Pakistan at the Kuala Lumpur Summit.
The development comes after PM Imran Khan met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Riyadh on Saturday during which they discussed matters related to bilateral relations.
Dr Muhammad Faisal, Foreign Office Spokesperson confirmed during his weekly briefing about Khan’s participation in the summit and said it would provide an opportunity for Pakistan to explain views and find solutions to the problems facing by the Muslim world particularly governance, development, terrorism and Islamophobia.
The Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohammad had extended an invitation to PM Imran in November through his Deputy Foreign Minister Marzuki Bin Haji Yahya.
The Kuala Lumpur Summit is expected to be an important gathering of the Muslim leaders with a shared agenda related to the Muslim world and its all challenges in a highly interconnected world.
Notable leaders expected to attend the summit include Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Hamad Al Thani, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.
It is pertinent to mention here that the summit was finalized during a trilateral meeting involving Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia in September in New York on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly session.
According to media reports, Saudi Arabia has not been invited to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit starting tomorrow.
Saudi Arabia had raised serious concerns over the Malaysian prime minister’s statement where he had said Muslim countries at Kuala Lumpur Summit would form a new platform to replace the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which “had failed to deliver the goods on issues faced by the Muslims across the world,” The News reported.