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.