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Kuala Lumpur Summit  2019:  Pakistan Miss the Event but not the Train

Kuala Lumpur Summit  2019:  Pakistan Miss the Event but not the Train

Published on: Feb 4, 2020

After much to and fro controversy, Pakistan decided to not participate in the fifth Kuala Lumpur Summit held in Malaysia in December 2019. The decision was received with criticism at home and abroad. On one hand it was interpreted as safe decision to avert rift in Muslim world. On the other hand the decision was criticized as a foreign policy debacle that could possibly lead to Pakistan’s isolation in Islamic world. Although events play an instrumental role, but international politics are not bound by isolated events. Along with other interests, relations between Muslim states are also formed on strong ideological, religious and cultural values. The foremost reason that Pakistan lies at the helm of Muslim world is its ideological background. It is the only Muslim state that was founded in the name of Islam. Moreover, Pakistan is the sole nuclear power among Muslim states and provides a sense of pride to the Muslim world. Similarly, geographically Pakistan lies on crossroad of Muslim world. It is located on the doorstep of Muslim states region of Middle East as well as Central Asia. Pakistan itself does not have any rivalry in Muslim world and thus can manage neutral position among even rival Muslim countries. Similar situation was observed regarding KL-Summit. Given the importance of Pakistan, champions of KL-Summit looked forward to participation of Pakistan to increase the weightage of forum. While top powerful influential Muslim countries viewed Pakistan’s participation in KL-Summit as decisive factor that could create rift in Islamic world. In the following paragraphs, in the light of Pakistan’s relations with Malaysia, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Turkey, Qatar and Iran it will be briefly discussed that absence of Pakistan from KL-Summit is not tantamount to rift in Islamic world, nor did Pakistan has missed out exclusively on the forum. Instead, Pakistan managed to preserve its relations with all Muslim countries involved in forum, and that too without averting those who opposed it.

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