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PM Imran Khan to attend Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Beijing

Prime Minister Imran Khan addressing at the ceremony for signing of agreements between PTV, PCB, and cable operators at Islamabad on September 16, 2020. — PID/File
  • Prime Minister to visit China from February 3-5.
  • CPEC, other matters to be discussed during visit.
  • PM’s presence at Olympics to be of great significance.

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan will attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics as he will visit China from February 3-5, Foreign Office confirmed Thursday.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Asim Iftikhar Ahmed, addressing a weekly press briefing, said during the prime minister’s visit, officials of Islamabad and Beijing would discuss the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), among other matters.

The Pakistani prime minister’s presence will be of great significance as some major western countries have decided on the diplomatic boycott of the mega event, set to begin on February 4.

The United States, Britain, Australia, and Canada have announced a diplomatic boycott of the event, while North Korea was the latest country to pull out, citing the pandemic.

Though athletes from around the world will travel to compete in the four-yearly event, no dignitaries from these western countries are expected to watch the Games.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) executive director Kenneth Roth has also urged to join a diplomatic boycott as Beijing is using its upcoming Winter Olympics to “sports wash” and gloss over its “horrible” human rights record.

China’s foreign ministry countered Thursday that HRW “has always been full of prejudice”.