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Pak, Iran reach consensus against regional rifts

Top Story

May 25, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Friday agreed to work for bringing down the tension in the region. The visiting foreign minister of Iran had significant meetings with Prime Minster Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and had extensive talks with Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi separately here Friday.

It was agreed during the meetings that war is not in favour of any country, therefore, it should be avoided.

Iran Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif dashed to Islamabad on Thursday evening amid the rising tension in the Arabian Gulf area as his interlocutors here reminded disastrous outcome of military clash while General Qamar Javed Bajwa urged all sides to make efforts to keep conflict away from the region.

Dr Javad Zarif, who visited India last week, engaged in hectic diplomatic efforts to ward off threats of war with the United States. “War is not in anyone’s interest,” the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) quoted the army chief as saying in his meeting with Javad Zarif at the General Headquarters.

Matters of mutual interest and evolving situation in the region were discussed during the meeting.

The visiting dignitary appreciated Pakistan’s positive role for regional peace and stability. The visit has taken place in the aftermath of Pakistan’s offer to mediate between Iran and the US. The offer was formally extended a day before the arrival of the Iranian foreign minister to Islamabad.

The Foreign Office Spokesperson, Dr Muhammad Faisal, said on Thursday that Pakistan always supported dialogue and desired that all issues should be settled peacefully and through engagement by all sides. “If required, Pakistan is ready to play constructive and positive role in this regard,” he added.

It has been officially stated that Iran’s foreign minister discussed Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations during his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Imran Khan expressed concern over the rising tensions in the Gulf, emphasising that war was neither a solution to any problem nor in anyone’s interest. He said all sides needed to exercise maximum restraint in the current situation. The prime minister stressed that every effort should be made to resolve the issues within the framework of international law and through diplomatic engagement. He added that Pakistan was prepared to use its friendly relations in the region to help lower tensions among the brotherly countries and promote peace and stability in the region.

Imran Khan expressed satisfaction over the excellent bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran. He underscored that early implementation of various decisions reached during his visit to Iran would further enhance cooperation in all areas.

Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi was also present on the occasion. Delegation-level talks were held between Iran and Pakistan at the Foreign Office. Javad Zarif said he has brought a message of connecting the Gwadar and Chahbahar ports. He said the world community must stop the US from aggression.

Javad Zarif also called on National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser in the Parliament House. The speaker underlined the importance the people and Government of Pakistan attached to the longstanding brotherly relations between the two countries. The speaker expressed his deep concern over the recent tension in the Gulf region which posed a threat to the regional peace and stability.

He said that all sides needed to exercise restraint and a solution may be found for amicable resolution within the framework of international law. He reiterated the support of Government of Pakistan for joint comprehensive plan, which represents an excellent example of negotiated settlement of complex issues through diplomacy and dialogue.

Referring to his interaction with his counterpart Dr Ali Larajani, the speaker said that there was a broader consensus for strengthening the Pakistan-Iran relations through enhancing parliamentary interaction and cooperation. The Iranian foreign minister thanked the speaker for his sentiments and said Iran had special affection for their Pakistani brethren and strongly believes in the need for further strengthening of these relations. He said that continuous interaction between the political and parliamentary leadership from both countries would help further cement Pak-Iran relations. He said that Iran would exercise restraint, however, would not allow anyone to wage economic war on Iran.

The US has recently sent an aircraft carrier and a bomber taskforce to the Middle East in response to what officials called “a credible threat” by the Iranian regime forces. Pakistan views the situation in the region as serious and it needs to be addressed through dialogue by all parties. Pakistan asked the parties to show restraint, as any miscalculated move can transmute into a large-scale conflict. Pakistan’s position is very clear in this regard. It supports dialogue in all situations. If there is any problem, it should be resolved through peaceful dialogue and negotiations.

The sources reminded that the showdown between the US and Iran is obviously imminent but skilful diplomacy could push the clouds of war away from the region. Pakistan is watching the situation and making efforts to help avoid active clash, the sources added.