PM Khan to visit Malaysia weeks after skipping KL summit

Malaysia's Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (L) shakes hands with his Pakistani counterpart Imran Khan during a welcoming ceremony at the prime minister's office in Putrajaya on November 21, 2018. (AFP)
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Updated 09 January 2020

PM Khan to visit Malaysia weeks after skipping KL summit

  • Foreign Office will soon announce dates for the visit
  • PM Khan skipped Kuala Lumpur Summit in December 2019

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan would soon visit Malaysia, said Foreign Office Spokesperson Aisha Farooqui on Thursday, adding that both sides were working to finalize the plan.

“Soon we will announce the exact dates for the visit,” she informed.

Khan was scheduled to travel to Malaysia to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit from December 18 to 21 on the invitation of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, but he decided to skip the gathering at the eleventh hour.

The prime minister’s abrupt change of mind fueled speculations that his decision was made under Saudi Arabia’s influence since the Kingdom was said to be concerned that the Kuala Lumpur Summit constituted an effort to set up a new platform to replace the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

However, the Saudi Embassy in Pakistan on December 21 issued a statement denying the claim that Riyadh had exerted pressure on Islamabad and asked it not attend the summit in Malaysia.

“The Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Pakistan denied the information and fake news broadcast by some media channels, claiming that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia pressurized and threatened Pakistan to refrain from participating in the Kuala Lumpur Summit,” said the statement.

To warm up bilateral relations with Malaysian PM, Khan visited Kuala Lumpur in November last year.

In December 2019, the Malaysian premier sent a luxury car, X-70 Proton, for Khan which was handed over to the Pakistan government during a ceremony at the Malaysian High Commission in Islamabad.

Manufacturing of the Malaysian Proton cars has already begun in Pakistan with a local partner, Al-Hajj Automotive.

UN chief visits Kartarpur Corridor, terms it 'symbol of peace'

Updated 19 min 27 sec ago

UN chief visits Kartarpur Corridor, terms it 'symbol of peace'

  • Guterres says the visit pays tribute to the contribution of Sikh community all over the world
  • He arrived in Pakistan to attend a UN summit on Afghan refugees

ISLAMABAD: United Nations Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Tuesday visited Pakistan’s flagship interfaith initiative, the Kartarpur Corridor, and paid homage to Guru Nanak who founded Sikhism five centuries ago.
“This is the best symbol that we can give for a world in peace and for a world (where) there is mutual respect and acceptance of what is different,” the UN Chief said while addressing a pool of journalists and officials.
Opened last year, the four-kilometer Kartarpur Corridor connects the Sikh shrine of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib in India’s Punjab region to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan. It allows Sikhs to visit the shrine in Pakistan without a visa. Some 5,000 Indian Sikhs have been allowed access daily.
“Recognizing the diversity is a blessing, is a richness not a threat which we see in so many parts of the world fighting in the name of religion. It is necessary to say that religions unite us for peace and the best symbol is this shrine,” Guterres said, adding that his visit was “to pay tribute to the contribution of the Sikh community all over the world for our planet.”
Guterres was given a tour of the gurdwara complex by a team of government officials led by Religious Affairs Minister Pir Noorul Haq Qadri.
The UN Chief arrived in Islamabad on Sunday as part of his four-day visit to the country to attend an international conference on Afghan refugees, held to mark four decades since Pakistan started hosting displaced persons escaping conflict plaguing neighboring Afghanistan.