Pakistan will 'compensate' Malaysia by buying more palm oil after India withdraws: Imran Khan

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakistan will do everything possible to buy more palm oil from Malaysia after the main buyer in India stopped those imports last month in the middle of a diplomatic dispute with the Southeast Asian nation, the prime minister said on Tuesday Imran Khan

India has imposed general restrictions on imports of refined palm oil and has asked informally for traders to stop buying from Malaysia, the second largest producer and exporter of edible oil worldwide, in retaliation for Malaysia's accusation that the recent Indian policies discriminate against Muslims.

Neighbors India and Pakistan have been hostile to each other since the partition of British India in 1947, and they have fought two of their three wars for competitive territorial claims in Kashmir.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he discussed palm oil with Khan in Malaysia on a state visit, and that Pakistan had indicated that it would import more from Malaysia.

That is correct, especially since we noticed that India threatened Malaysia for supporting the Kashmir cause, threatened to cut palm oil imports, Khan said at a joint press conference, referring to the Muslim-majority Kashmir region of India. .

Pakistan will do everything possible to compensate for that.

Pakistan bought 1.1 million tons of palm oil from Malaysia last year, while India bought 4.4 million tons, according to the Malaysian Palm Oil Council.

Strong ties

India has repeatedly opposed Mahathir ruling against her movement last year to strip the autonomy of Kashmir and facilitate non-Muslims from the neighboring Muslim majority of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan to obtain citizenship.

At the press conference, Mahathir, a 94-year-old open leader, did not refer to Kashmir, but Khan did.

The way you, PM, have supported us and talked about this injustice that is happening, on behalf of Pakistan, I really want to thank you, Khan said.

The former cricket player said he was sad because he could not attend a summit of Muslim leaders in Malaysia in December. The summit was outside the scope of the Islamic Cooperation Organization based in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Pakistan, had said the meeting was being divided to the Islamic world.

Unfortunately, our friends, who are also very close to Pakistan, felt that somehow the conference would divide the ummah, Khan said, using the Arabic word for the Muslim community but not mentioning Saudi Arabia by name.

It is clearly a mistake, since that was not the purpose of the conference, he said.

Khan also said that Malaysia and Pakistan were working on a joint media project to convey a positive image of Islam, combat Islamophobia and develop content for young Muslims.