KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) dismissed foreign reports that Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan has cancelled his trip here for the Kuala Lumpur (KL) 2019 Summit following pressure from Saudi Arabia as untrue.
Dr Mahathir said that Imran, who earlier called him to express his regrets for not being able to attend the summit, which starts tomorrow (Dec 18) until Sunday (Dec 21), could have his own reasons.
"That's his choice, we cannot force. In Islam, there is no compulsion in religion.
"He can't come maybe because of other issues.
"But what was reported in the media was not true.
"There is no problem," he told reporters at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) here on Tuesday (Dec 17).
It was reported by foreign media such as Pakistan's Geo News that Imran cancelled his scheduled visit to Malaysia under pressure from Saudi Arabia.
Earlier in a statement, the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) clarified that all 56 countries of the Islamic world were invited and all 56 were represented at various levels.
The KL Summit 2019 was supposed to bring together the heads of government from Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan, Turkey and Qatar to address and resolve issues concerning Muslims.
"We invited 50 countries but for the heads of government, at first only three were supposed to be involved then we invited Qatar and Indonesia, if they're interested.
"But if they can't come then we can't force them to.
"They have sent their delegations and representatives, they seem interested in the subjects that we are discussing.
"Hopefully, they (the leaders) will receive some of the information regarding our discussions, which have nothing to do with religion, but instead, the state of affairs of the Muslims," added Dr Mahathir.
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