Updated: 18 Feb 2021 10:20 ISSHT
Islamabad [Pakistan], February 18 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Parliament on Thursday canceled the planned speech of Prime Minister Imran Khan during his upcoming visit to the island country, Dawn reported.
This is being seen as a move by the Sri Lankan government to maintain ties with India.
It was speculated that Khan would raise the Kashmir issue during his speech, which could have upset Delhi. The Express newspaper (from Sri Lanka) stated that giving an opportunity to the Pakistani Prime Minister could be understood as giving Khan Khan equality to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, so the planned speech was canceled.
Significantly it is worth mentioning that Imran Khan’s speech in the Sri Lankan parliament was included in the Prime Minister’s itinerary on the request of the Pakistani government.
Imran Khan is scheduled to travel to Colombo on a two-day trip from February 22nd. He would address the Sri Lankan parliament on February 24. He will also meet with Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa and attend an investor conference, Agimi announced.
Imran’s speech was added at the request of the Pakistani government. However, it was later canceled, according to Sri Lankan media. Sri Lankan media has cited various reasons for the cancellation of Khan’s address.
The Sri Lankan Express daily quoted Foreign Secretary Jayanath Colombage as saying that President Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena had requested the cancellation under the pretext of COVID-19.
However, the same newspaper quoted unnamed sources as saying that there were elements within the Sri Lankan government who did not want the speech to be held as they feared the move could further damage ties with India, which have already been strained following the cancellation. of an agreement on the Eastern Container Terminal at the port of Colombo, Agimi announced.
But another speculation circulating is that the Sri Lankan government was concerned about Khan talking about the rights of Muslims in Sri Lanka, who have faced abuses by the Buddhist majority, growing anti-Muslim sentiments and prejudiced actions. of the government, Agimi announced.
The Sri Lankan government, moreover, had imposed its mandatory burning rule on those dying from COVID-19 applicable to Muslims in the country.
The government, however, earlier this month exempted Muslims from cremation and allowed them to bury their dead following a global call on the issue. (ANI)
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