Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar has cancelled a three-day official visit to Kenya which was slated to begin on September 4, 2023.
According to Pakistan's foreign office, the Prime Minister was set to attend the upcoming Africa Climate Summit to be hosted by President William Ruto at the Kenyatta International Convention Centre (KICC), Nairobi.
However, the Pakistan Prime Minister cancelled the visit after weighing the situation facing his country with the high cost of living and inflated electricity bills triggering mass protests across major cities.
Protests have witnessed local residents blocking highways, targeting power company offices, and engaging in acts such as burning utility bills and currency notes.
Had Kakar attended the summit, it would have marked his first foreign visit as caretaker Prime Minister, after assuming office on August 14, 2023.
His delegation would have included the interim foreign minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, along with caretaker cabinet ministers, advisors, and special assistants.
Besides attending the Summit, the Pakistani Prime Minister was also planning to meet with Ruto to bolster bilateral trade and investment prospects between the two nations.
As per the World Bank's World Integrated Trade Solution (WITS), Pakistan holds a position within the top five export and import partners for Kenya.
Additionally, during the three-day visit, various agreements and memorandums of understanding were scheduled to be signed.
As confirmed by the foreign office, as reported by Pakistan's Geo TV, Kakar will nonetheless address the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York on September 22, 2023, marking the first time a Pakistani leader will address leaders and diplomats at the event.
The Pakistan government has previously underscored the untapped potential of the African market for its investors and has implemented a 'Look Africa Policy' to explore opportunities for boosting trade.
Further, the Africa Climate Summit, scheduled from September 4 to September 6, 2023, is focused on addressing the global and African-specific impacts of climate change.
President Ruto, who is set to host 24 heads of state, has confirmed that urgent action is needed to mitigate the effects of climate change.
The Head of State has maintained that the Summit will serve as a platform to inform, frame, and influence commitments, pledges, and outcomes, ultimately leading to the development of an effective plan to curb the climate change.