China president ‘cancels’ Pak trip over crisis

ISLAMABAD (TIP): Chinese President Xi Jinping has cancelled his Pakistan visit later this month due to ongoing antigovernment protests in Islamabad. Federal minister Ahsan Iqbal tweeted this on Thursday while lashing out at opposition leader Imran Khan and Canadian- Pakistani preacher Tahir ul-Qadri, who are leading the protests in the heart of the Pakistani capital. “Congrats! IK and TUQ visit of China President is cancelled. Biggest diplomatic blow to Pakistan thanks to them.

They have caused shame to us,” Iqbal tweeted. But foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said the Pakistan government has not been informed about any such development through diplomatic channels. National security advisor Sartaj Aziz said the leader’s visit will not be cancelled but may be delayed. The Chinese embassy officials too denied having any knowledge of the cancellation of Xi’s visit. “We are closely monitoring the situation in Islamabad,” said an official.

A Chinese team had arrived in Islamabad on Wednesday to finalize the dates for the visit and to review the security situation in the backdrop of the protests. Reports said it did not give him clearance to visit Pakistan. Instead, it was suggested he should visit Lahore. But his security team did not give clearance for that either.

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