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October 17, 2019

PM’s engagements with Iran, S Arabia yielding results: Qureshi

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October 17, 2019

ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said that Pakistan’s engagement with both Iran and Saudi Arabia has resulted in war threats receding, and a good beginning has been made in which ‘a way forward mechanism’ to this very complicated issue is being worked out.

“I cannot go into details but we have made a good beginning and Pakistan’s main purpose and objective of diplomatic initiative to prevent any escalation in tensions, I can say with authority, has been achieved,” Qureshi told the media at the Foreign Office.

He also announced the decision of the PTI’s core committee to engage with Fazlur Rehman in response to the JUI-F chief's declaration to march on Islamabad on October 31, where a small political committee headed by Defence Minister Pervaiz Khattak will meet Maulana Fazlur Rehman.

The minister was speaking after the visits of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Iran and Saudi Arabia. Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif in a Tweet thanked Prime Minister Khan and appreciated his efforts for peace and stability while inviting regional states to work in

unison for the prosperity of the region. The Saudi leadership also lauded PM Imran’s efforts for promoting peace and noted the impact his initiative could have on the regional situation.

Khan had earlier stressed the importance of avoiding military conflict and the need for constructive engagement of all parties. “There is no ambiguity and I found the responses (from both countries) which wanted to give peace a chance”, said Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have agreed to remain engaged and consult closely to take forward Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to ensure peace and security in the region, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.

The agreement came during PM Imran’s separate meetings with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh. “Results while facilitating between Iran and Saudi Arabia were more than our expectations where today we can see the probability of a ceasefire in Yemen which is also a complicated issue. But we know that vested interests are at work”, added the minister.

He pointed out the improvements of bilateral relations with the United States, “Where, if there is one person that President Trump is awaiting a telephone call from, it is that of Prime Minister Imran Khan”.

He pointed out that the meetings in Iran and Saudi Arabia were also an opportunity for the prime minister to bring up to date the leadership on the situation inside Indian Occupied Kashmir (IOK).

Khan thanked both countries with Iran assuring Pakistan that its support on Kashmir is very clear. Earlier, reports spoke of the Saudi leaders voicing support for the just cause of Kashmiris and reiterated the importance of avoiding any escalation and ensuring a peaceful resolution.

They also reaffirmed Saudi Arabia’s commitment to close ties with Pakistan and reiterated their resolve to deepen bilateral collaboration in all fields including trade, energy, security and defence.

The minister said that Pakistan’s outreach and diplomatic efforts had also reached the International Parliamentary Union, which is one forum that can propose sending a fact-finding mission to IOK, which could inform all Parliaments about the reality on the ground.

However, to a query, the foreign minister ruled out any chance of bilateral engagements with India and while if anyone tries, it would be appreciated, but Pakistan’s response is that there is no use holding talks for the sake of talks.