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October 16, 2018
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Disappearance of journalist: Saudi, Turkish efforts to resolve issue welcoming, says FO

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October 16, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has ‘welcomed’ efforts by Saudi Arabia and Turkey to look into the ‘disappearance’ of the reputed Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Ankara a few weeks ago, and hoped the issue would be successfully addressed.

Trying to balance its relations with both the countries, Islamabad has refrained from expressing ‘concern’ on the ‘disappearance’, at a time when many of the Turkish media's 'unconfirmed' reports described Khashoggi to have been murdered.

“We understand that the investigation is going on and it would therefore be appropriate to await for the outcome. We welcome Saudi and Turkish efforts to jointly look into the matter,” the spokesman at the Foreign Office told the media. Underscoring Pakistan’s close and fraternal relationship with both Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the spokesman added that Pakistan hopes the two brotherly countries will be able to jointly address the matter.

Pressure from important world capitals has come down on Saudi Arabia with President Trump saying on Sunday night, ”We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment”, but did not elaborate as to the form of the ‘punishment’.

Trump also decided to send his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia for deliberations over the missing journalist. Earlier, Trump had said that he was not in favour of cutting off an important arms deal with Saudi Arabia as that would hit the US economy and cut jobs.

However, while Saudi Arabia continues to claim that Khashoggi had left the consulate, it said on Sunday that it would not be cowed down by “threats of economic sanctions or political pressure”, and warned that the Kingdom will respond to any steps taken against it. More important is the fact that the leading US businessmen are canceling their participation in an international economic forum in Saudi Arabia after this latest controversy.

However, the OIC and other Muslim states have completely ignored this ‘disappearance.’ The European Union, too, has not clarified its position over the issue.

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