Published On: Thu, Feb 6th, 2020

Pakistan PM: ‘Friends’ told me not to attend Malaysia summit

Karachi (ANN)-Pakistan’s “friends” felt Prime Minister Imran Khan’s attendance of the Kuala Lumpur Summit in December would “divide the Ummah”, the officials said during a two-day visit to Malaysia this week.

Khan explained his absence from the Kuala Lumpur Summit and expressed his sadness in not attending, adding that he hopes to attend the next summit.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Malaysian counterpart, Mahathir Mohamad in Putrajaya, Khan said: “Unfortunately, our friends, who are very close to Pakistan as well, felt that somehow the conference was going to divide the ummah. It was clearly a misconception because that was not the purpose of the conference as evident from when the conference took place.”

The references appear to be made to Saudi Arabia and, to a lesser extent, the UAE who are accused of pressurising Khan not to attend the “mini-Islamic summit” fearing it would become a rival to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Khan was a high-profile attendee but pulled out at the eleventh hour. “I was looking forward to attending the conference because I feel that it is important that Muslim countries educate Western and non-Muslim countries about Islam and all these misunderstandings, whether deliberate or due to ignorance,” he said.

READ: Turkey, Pakistan plan landmark deal for dual nationality

Although Khan did not name the two countries, he lamented that “The reason is that we have no voice and there is a total division amongst [us]. We can’t even come together as a whole on the OIC summit meeting on Kashmir.”

Dawn reported that Khan voiced frustration over the OIC’s silence on the issue of Kashmir while speaking at a think-tank during his Malaysia trip. Pakistan has been pushing for the foreign ministers’ meeting of the 57-member bloc of Muslim countries, which is the second largest intergovernmental body after the UN, since India annexed occupied Kashmir last August by stripping it of its special status under India’s constitution.

Riyadh’s support is perceived as essential for any move at the OIC, which is dominated by Saudi Arabia and other Gulf Arab states.

Following India’s ban last month on Malaysian palm oil imports after Prime Minister Mohamad criticised Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over its actions in Kashmir and the controversial new citizenship law, Khan suggested that Pakistan was prepared to import more palm oil from Malaysia, “Pakistan will do its best to compensate that loss,” he said.

Khan arrived in Malaysia on Monday evening.

READ: Malaysia PM to Saudi King: Summit is no substitute for OIC

Source: Memo

About the Author

- #Arraale Mohamoud Jama is a freelance journalist and human rights activist with more than 20 years of experience as a professional journalist and human rights activist, as well as a writer and investigative journalist on a wide range of topics related to social issues, human rights, politics and security, economics, democracy, and good governance. He has written extensively on regional and international events, and has worked Somaliland newspapers, and Human rights organization. In 2008, he created the website #Araweelo #News #Network, and is based in Somaliland and is currently managing it; #Arraale is a specialist in investigating and reporting on human rights, democracy, security, and good governance issues. Contact: Send an SMS or MMS to + 252 63 442 5380 + 252 63 442 5380 /

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