Prime Minister Imran Khan will skip next month’s United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session to focus his attention on the country’s economy, said Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mehmood Qureshi.
Foreign Minister Qureshi will head the Pakistani delegation at 73rd UNGA session set to open on September 18.
“No, the prime minister is not going. I will lead Pakistani delegation,” Qureshi told reporters.
There was a debate in Pakistan whether the new prime minister would attend the UN session or stay home as part of his austerity drive and focus on economic issues.
“The prime minister of Pakistan thinks that the present situation in the country needs attention,” Qureshi told the media.
He said Khan wants to focus on his new government, sworn in earlier this month, and a looming currency crisis which threatens to derail the fast-growing economy.
Earlier, PM Imran had said in a meeting of the Senate on August 27 that he would take up the issue of blasphemous cartoon competition in the Netherlands in the UNGA.
“The OIC (Organisation of Islamic Cooperation) should have taken up the matter long ago and forged a practicable strategy. But the OIC is yet to wake up to the detestable moves (perpetrated) to hurt the sentiments of the Muslims,” he had added.
Pakistan’s economy expanded at 5.8 per cent in the last fiscal year, its quickest pace in 13 years, but the rupee currency has been devalued four times since December. Interest rates have been raised three times.