ISLAMABAD: Referring to tense ties between China and the United States, Pakistani President Dr. Arif Alvi said on Friday Islamabad would not become party to a ‘new Cold War’ and called for a new “morality-based” world order led my Muslim nations.
The president’s comments come days after Islamabad declined to participate in a two-day democracy summit convened by the United States.
Media has widely reported that Pakistan’s decision not to attend the ‘Summit on Democracy’ is in part due to President Joe Biden’s invitation to Taiwan, a move that has infuriated Islamabad’s longtime ally China, which views the democratically governed island as its territory.
The first-of-its-kind gathering is a test of Biden’s assertion — announced in his first foreign policy address in office in February — that he would return the United States to global leadership to face down authoritarian forces led by China and Russia.
There are 110 participants on the State Department’s invitation list for the virtual event on December 9 and 10, which aims to help stop democratic backsliding and the erosion of rights and freedoms worldwide. The list does not include China or Russia.
“Currently, the world order in the world … is made on the basis of Western interests,” Alvi said in an interview with local SAMAA TV channel.
“I understand that the position taken by Imran Khan is the best, that we won’t become a party in this new Cold War. We will act independently.”
“This order is about to be changed,” he said, adding that Pakistan didn’t want to become a part of any bloc.
The Pakistani president called for a “morality-based international order,” whose champion he said could be a leader like Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Morality-based order is a possibility and only Muslim countries further it and I understand Pakistan has a major position in that.”
A spokesperson at the Pakistani foreign office on Friday denied that Islamabad had joined the Chinese bloc by declining to attend the US summit.
“Let me tell you that we remain closely engaged with the US on a range of issues. We value our partnership with the US and we wish to expand it bilaterally as well as in terms of regional and international cooperation,” the spokesperson said during a weekly press briefing.
“There have been exchanges recently as you are aware, that include the delegation led by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Congressman Meeks, and there is another delegation arriving tonight led by Senate Armed Services Committee Chair Senator King, all reflective of continuing, cooperative exchanges with the US.”
China on Friday called Pakistan a “real iron brother” for declining to attend the US summit.