Skipping KL summit: Imran Khan's worst U-turn
If you ask me to describe Imran Khan's personality in just one sentence, I would say he's a man quite opposite to what he pretends to be. What else would you say about a man who is proud of being a u-turner-who keeps changing his stance on certain issues according to circumstances. Imran Khan is not a man of his words but a man of opportunities. He himself has publicly acknowledged that he won’t hesitate to make compromises for the ultimate objective. Once addressing a public gathering in Peshawer, Prime Minister Imran Khan, while ridiculing his political opponents, said it was due to his U-turns that he was in the PM house and his political rivals in jail. So, a septuagenarian politician who believes to have become the Prime Minister by virtue of his U-turns can hardly be convinced that some U-turns are the worst U-turns.
There is a long list of Imran Khan’s U turns; from saying good bye to foreign loans to not residing in the PM house; from demolishing the walls of governor houses to converting PM house into a university; from not making foreign tours in special planes to making state institutions stronger and independent; from making bureaucracy politics free to introducing the KPK policing model in Punjab; etc.
There is a long list of Imran Khan’s U turns but the worst one is the U turn from Kuala Lumpur summit hosted by Malasiyan Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammad with Turkish President Reccep Tayyab Erodgan, President of Iran Hasan Rouhani and the Qatri Emir as the main attendants. The prime objective of Kuala Lumpur moot was to provide a robust and vibrant platform to the Muslim Ummah to fight Islamophobia, free Islamic countries from their dependence on the non-Muslim countries. Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is said to be one of the planners of this pro-active Islamic organization to discuss and address the problems of Muslim Ummah, skipped the KL moot allegedly on the pressure Saudia Arab and UAE. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has publicly admitted that Pakistan did not attend this conference because KSA and UAE had their reservations regarding the KL summit. According to media reports Suadia Arab had warned to expel hundreds of thousands of Pakistani expatriates and withdraw its billions of dollars from the State Bank in case Pakistan attended the Malasiya Conference. Turkish President Erodwan also claimed before Turkish media that Saudi rulers had threatened Pakistan to stay away from the KL summit. On the other hand Saudi Arab has strongly rejected claims by the Turkish President saying relations with Pakistan are so cordial and brotherly that there is no room for threats.
Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, one of the main architects of this summit made it loud and clear that the new platform did not mean to replace the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC). He also regretted Pakistan’s absence from the summit but admitted it’s ‘compulsions’ too. Pakistan’s abrupt withdrawal from the conference is being called as a major foreign police debacle as a better decision in this regard could have been made had Prime Minister Khan taken the foreign office advices seriously. Lead story printed in the Express Tribune revealed that the PM house didn’t bother to pay even a little heed to the advices sent by the foreign office. According to the story Pakistan’s foreign office was continuously asking the PM house to consider these advices before making any commitment for the KL summit. With proper homework and preparation Pakistan could surely avert the embarrassment at the foreign policy level that earned it a bad name internationally. Withdrawing from the summit at the last moment has so far been the worst U turn of Imran Khan who failed to convince Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salmaan that skipping the KL summit would tarnish the country’s image as a responsible serious nation. But there is another aspect of this whole issue which is Pakistan’s heavy financial dependence on Saudi Arab and UAE employing millions of Pakistanis who send heavy remittances annually from these two countries. As long as we keep depending on these countries for our financial needs, we will not be able to make decisions of our own choice as regards foreign policy. The sooner we get financial independence, the better it will be for our country and generations to come.