Pakistan decides to skip US “Summit for Democracy”
Pakistan has decided not to attend Biden’s "Summit for Democracy", which excluded Russia and China.
Pakistan has decided not to attend a US-led "Summit for Democracy", saying Islamabad is in contact with Washington on multiple issues and "we can engage on this subject at an opportune time in the future."
"We remain in contact with the US on a range of issues and believe that we can engage on this subject at an opportune time in the future," the Pakistani Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.
"Pakistan will, meanwhile, continue to support all efforts aimed towards strengthening dialogue, constructive engagement, and international cooperation for the advancement of our shared goals," the statement added.
"We remain deeply committed to further deepening democracy, fighting corruption, and protecting, and promoting the human rights of all citizens. In recent years, Pakistan has instituted wide-ranging reforms aimed at advancing these goals. These reforms have yielded positive results,” the statement said.
The "Summit for Democracy", which is to be held virtually on December 9-10, excluded Washington’s two main rivals, China and Russia.
"To be fair, this was a tough decision for Pakistan’s leadership, which genuinely wants to deepen its relationship with the United States while also safeguarding its strategic relationship with China," analyst Uzair Younus wrote in The Atlantic Council.
Pakistan, US' views on several points diverge
Pakistan's decision comes amid differences with the US over multiple issues, including Afghanistan and Islamabad's strategic partnership with China in recent years.
Islamabad has also been calling on Washington to release Afghanistan's frozen assets to avoid an imminent "humanitarian crisis" in the country.
In March, Biden excluded Pakistan from a Leaders Summit on Climate though it is among the top 10 countries hit by climate crisis in recent years.
Pakistan and the US' views on the Kashmir dispute also diverge, as the former has been seeking an active US role in bringing India, its ally, to the negotiation table, which hasn't happened yet.
It is noteworthy that US President Joe Biden had invited the leaders of about 110 countries to participate in a virtual Summit for Democracy to be held on December 9 and 10 ahead of an in-person meeting at its second edition next year.
Russia and China were among those excluded from the invitation, and they firmly rejected the so-called 'democracy summit’ in a joint article published by the National Interest.
On her part, Cuban Deputy Foreign Minister Josefina Vidal says her country's authorities consider the US holding a summit for democracy hypocritical.