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Imran Khan’s Visit to Malaysia

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21.02.2020

From 3 to 4 February of this year, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan paid an official visit to Malaysia. Events of this nature are not a common occurrence for a number of reasons, first and foremost, in light of various aspects of the Kashmir conflict and their development.

The aforementioned dispute arose at the time (i.e. the end of the 1940s) the independent nations of India and Pakistan came into being. Since then, tensions between the two nations have risen on a number of occasions, and the issue once again became a source of concern over the course of last year.

It was during the most recent flare-up in tensions over Kashmir that the essentially two-way conflict between India and Pakistan (with China’s indirect involvement) began to transform into an international issue fraught with danger. And this time around, leading world players, such as the United States and Russia, were compelled to say something more or less reasonable about its resolution. And it was painfully clear that none of them wished to do so.

However, they had no choice in the matter. After all, two (de facto) nuclear powers ended up on the brink of war, and any armed conflict between them will not be confined to South Asia. And both parties to the dispute (again, as never before) are seeking support on the international arena, which makes it difficult for external players to ignore the Kashmir issue.

Although Malaysia is not among the leading nations of the world, it is certainly not a second-tier country. It is an influential nation in its “own” Southeast Asian region and in the entire Muslim world. Based on Malaysia’s overall level of economic development and GDP (Gross Domestic Product) per capita data, the nation is in second place (after Singapore) in Southeast Asia, and it is approaching the Four Asian Tigers (which include Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan and Hong Kong) in status.

Malaysia’s economy has prospered largely on account of the fact that, from 1981 to 2003 (i.e. for over 22 years), its government was headed by Mahathir bin Mohamad, a unique individual in the world of politics. In May 2018, after a triumphant victory of the Alliance of Hope coalition in the scheduled general election, he once again became the nation’s........

© New Eastern Outlook