According to the reports, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave for Sri Lanka on a two-day visit from February 22. He was supposed to address the Sri Lankan parliament on February 24 during his visit to the island nation.
However, on Wednesday, the Sri Lanka government cancelled Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to its Parliament because of concerns that Khan could rake up the Kashmir issue. It is not an unknown fact that Imran Khan has a habit of propagating lies on the Kashmir issue whenever he is presented with a global platform, especially after the Indian Government started to tackle the menace of Islamic terrorism emanating from Pakistan.
It has been reported that the speech to the Sri Lankan parliament was earlier included in Khan’s itinerary at the Pakistan government’s request. However, it was later cancelled, according to Sri Lankan media.
According to a Sri Lanka’s Express report, Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage said that Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena had requested for cancellation of the speech on the pretext of Covid-19. However, the same newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that some people inside the Sri Lankan government did not want the speech to occur as they feared it may harm ties with India.
It is also speculated that the Sri Lankan government was concerned that Khan, who is desperate for publicity, may talk about the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka. According to a report in Colombo Gazette, Sergeant-at-Arms of Parliament, Narendra Fernando said that the Foreign Ministry has informed Parliament that the Pakistan Prime Minister’s visit to Sri Lanka will go ahead as scheduled.
Imran Khan will be the first head of state to visit any country since the Chinese pandemic. He will hold talks with President Gotabaya Rajapaksa, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena during the visit.