ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will not participate in the upcoming Kuala Lumpur Summit, said a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office of Malaysia.
The statement said Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad received a call from Imran Khan yesterday (December 16) informing him about the decision at being unable to attend the summit.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan expressed his regrets for not being able to attend the Kuala Lumpur Summit scheduled from 18 to 21 December 2019. 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,” said the statement.
“Dr Mahathir would also like to correct some misinformation as was reported in Pakistan Today that alleged Dr Mahathir as saying that the KL Summit was intended to be a platform to replace the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.”
The statement said the KL Summit is 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.
“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.”
It further said the Malaysia 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.”
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 what little we can to the betterment of the Ummah. We pray that our initiative will receive the blessings of Allah,” it concluded.
The summit is being attended by over 400 Muslim leaders, intellectuals, scholars and thinkers from 52 countries. It will begin on December 18 in Kuala Lumpur, while the foreign leaders will meet on December 19 to explore new and workable solutions for problems afflicting the Muslim world.
A day earlier, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said the decision on the prime minister’s participation would be taken after his return from the ongoing official visits to Bahrain and Switzerland.