Islamabad [Pakistan], June 22 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister and former international cricketer Imran Khan's scheduled visit to the UK next month, has been postponed after Islamabad was not satisfied with the Boris Johnson government's offer for something more substantial than a cricket match and a ceremonial meeting, local media reported.
This follows the Pakistan government's announcement that Khan's visit has been postponed "due to internal security, political and regional situation." However, The International News cited credible sources telling The News and Geo News that the Pakistan PM's trip has been postponed as Islamabad couldn't get a UK-Pakistan partnership "road map for 10 years" similar to the to the pact signed between the UK and India last month.
India and UK last month had agreed on a transformational Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and adopted an ambitious roadmap to 2030 to steer cooperation for the next 10 years, with focus on trade and defense.
On June 7, PM Johnson held a telephonic discussion with his Pakistani counterpart and invited him to visit the UK. This would have been Imran Khan's first visit to the UK as Pakistan prime minister.
Earlier, local media had reported that the UK and Pakistan were discussing former international cricketer Khan's UK travel in form of a cricket-friendly tour in July. The Pakistan Prime Minister was also slated to hold talks with PM Boris Johnson.
However, the Pakistani side told the UK that a visit only for the cricket match and a meeting with PM Johnson will backfire if there are no deals signed.
According to The News International, Islamabad wanted to raise the ties towards a strategic partnership, however, the UK government didn't respond to these proposals despite two repeated reminders and remained stuck with the offer of the cricket match and a visit to the 10 Downing.
The Pakistan government yesterday said the PM had decided to postpone his UK visit citing important issues which he would like to monitor himself. "PM Imran Khan will himself monitor the withdrawal of foreign troops from Afghanistan," sources told Geo News as cited by The International News. (ANI)