Pakistan’s absence in Kuala Lumpur summit organized by Malaysia has created many questions and sparked controversies that Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled the plan due to growing pressure of Saudi Arabia.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s revelations said on Friday (Dec 20) that Pakistan skipped the summit after Saudi Arabia issued economic threats to Pakistan. “Unfortunately, we see that Saudi Arabia pressures Pakistan,” Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah quoted Erdogan as saying.
The four-day conference, which opened in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday to address some of the Islamic world’s thorniest issues, was boycotted by a handful of countries including Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.
“Now, there are promises that the country has given to Pakistan regarding the central bank. However, more than that, there are 4 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia. They (threaten by saying that they) would send (Pakistanis) back and re-employ Bangladeshi people instead,” Erdogan was quoted as saying.
“We see Saudi Arabia issuing economic threats to Pakistan and threatening to replace the 4 million Pakistani workers with Bangladeshi workers,” the Turkey-based channel quoted Erdogan as saying.
Earlier, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Wednesday (Dec 18) fired tirade on Muslim summit in Malaysia and said that such gatherings would weaken Islam.
“It is not in the interest of an Islamic nation to hold summits and meetings outside the framework of the (OIC), especially at this time when the world is witnessing multiple conflicts,” Othaimeen told international media, without directly naming Malaysia. He added that “any weakening of the OIC platform is a weakening of Islam and Muslims.”
In a sign that Riyadh was unhappy about the event, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan cancelled his attendance after a recent visit to Saudi Arabia, reportedly to assuage his ally’s concerns.
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan told Mahathir on Tuesday that he would not be able to attend the summit. Khan held a telephone discussion with Mahathir “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,” according to Malaysian prime ministry.
The Kuala Lumpur held in the Malaysian capital deliberate upon issues faced by the Muslim world. Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani participated in the event.
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