Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday cancelled his scheduled trip to Kaula Lumpur, Malayasia where he was to attend a summit of Muslim majority countries excluding Saudi Arabia and a few others.
The summit was finalised by Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia in September in New York had stirred a controversy since Saudi Arabia perceived it as a direct challenge to its leadership in the Islamic world.
According to the Malaysian news agency Bernama, Mahathir devised plans for the summit while meeting with the leaders of Pakistan and Turkey at the UN General Assembly in September.
On November 23, he announced that his country would host the summit in December.
Meanwhile, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Firdous Ashiq Awan said that the decision to attend the summit would be taken “in accordance with national interests”.
Earlier on Tuesday, right after PM Khan’s cancellation, his Malaysian counterpart Mahathir Mohammad clarified that the summit was not going to be a “platform to replace the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation”.
According to the sources, Turkey and Malaysia backed Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. But Khan was pressurised by the key Islamic countries after India reached out to Saudi Arabia and other allies in the Muslim world.
However, PM Mahathir in his official clarification said that Khan had conveyed to him about changes in his plans yesterday. Khan was to speak on the “state of affairs of the Islamic world,” the statement said.
“The KL Summit which is into its 5th edition is a non-governmental organization initiative, supported by the Malaysian government and is not intended to create a new bloc as alluded to by some of its critics. In addition, the summit is not a platform to discuss about religion or religious affairs but specifically to address the state of affairs of the Muslim Ummah,” Mahathir said.