ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will be travelling to Malaysia this month to placate Kuala Lumpur after Pakistan skipped a summit of Muslim nations reportedly under pressure from Saudi Arabia, according to a media report.
Khan had confirmed Pakistan’s participation in the December 19-21 summit hosted by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but skipped the event at the 11th hour due to pressure exerted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – key financial backers of the cash-strapped country.
The summit in Kuala Lumpur was seen by Saudis as an attempt to create a new bloc in the Muslim world that could become an alternative to the dysfunctional Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) led by the Gulf Kingdom.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal even visited Islamabad last month to convey the Saudi leadership’s gratitude to Pakistan for not attending the summit. Official sources confirmed that Khan is scheduled to travel to Kaula Lumpur by the end of January, The Express Tribune reported. It is believed that Khan will use the visit to explain Malaysian Prime Minister Mohamad the reason of Pakistan’s pull out from the summit, it said.
The report also mentioned that Islamabad is also making efforts to reach out to Turkey after it blamed Pakistan of pulling out of the summit under threats from Saudi Arabia. The report said that the visit of Turkish President Recep Tayab Erdogan next month to Pakistan would help remove any mistrust between the two countries. PTI