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Why didn’t Imran Khan attend Kuala Lumpur summit? Dr Mahathir clarifies

TP 4 months ago
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Islamabad/Kuala Lumpur: After much hype was created in the Pakistani media and social media that Prime Minister Imran Khan skipped a crucial summit in the Malaysian capital on the heels of pressure from Saudi Arabia, the Malaysian government has clarified that the Pakistani leader has duly conveyed his message Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad, expressing his regrets for not being able to attend the Kuala Lumpur summit scheduled from December 18 to 21.

“Prime Minister Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad received a call from Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, yesterday. Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his regrets for not being able to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit scheduled from 18 to 21 December 2019,” said a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia

It said that Dr Mahathir appreciates Prime Minister Imran Khan’s call to inform of his inability to attend the summit where the Pakistani leader was expected to speak and share his thoughts on the state of affairs of the Islamic world.

“Dr Mahathir would also like to correct some misinformation as was reported in Pakistan today that alleged Dr Mahathir as saying that the summit was intended to be a platform to replace the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation,” it said.

“The Kuala Lumpur summit which is into its 5th edition is a non-governmental organisation 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 religion or religious affairs but specifically to address the state of affairs of the Muslim Ummah,” the statement said.

“Today the Ummah is faced with oppression, the incarceration of millions, are placed in detention camps, civil wars resulting in total destruction of cities and nations leading to mass migration of displaced Muslims to non-Muslim countries, the rise of Islamophobia and irrational practices that go against the tenets of Islam yet proclaimed in the name of Islam.

It is these concerns that had led to the establishment of the summit and this year’s edition attempts to go beyond intellectual debates and discussions and instead pursue specific measures, pillars or objectives which are deemed achievable and implementable.

The summit is also very much aware that to pursue these pillars and objectives with too big a grouping will make it unwieldy and may fail even before it starts.

The selection of key nations is for the specific objectives, but the list is not exhaustive once these initiatives have taken off.

The summit attempts to spark a new approach in Ummah collaboration and if it is able to achieve something then it would be able to be presented to the larger Islamic grouping and bigger Muslim nations to evaluate whether these initiatives should be pursued on a larger scale,” it concluded.

For this summit, only a few national leaders are asked to participate but Malaysia wishes to reiterate that all 56 countries of the Islamic world were invited and all 56 are represented at various levels.

As a small nation, Malaysia is fully aware of its limitations and capabilities. We are merely attempting to contribute to what little we can to the betterment of the ummah. We pray that our initiative will receive the blessings of Allah s.w.t.

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