PM leaves for Riyadh today

Iran, Saudi Arabia shuttle diplomacy

Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: After holding successful Iran visit, Prime Minister Imran Khan will leave for Saudi Arabia today on a mission to act as a “facilitator” between Tehran and Riyadh to defuse rising tensions in the Gulf.
According to details, the Premier will hold key meetings with Saudi leadership to devise solutions for curbing escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Earlier during press conference in Tehran, PM Imran warned, “Any conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia would cause poverty in the world.”
“Pakistan suffered 70,000 casualties in the last 15 years in the war on terror, Afghanistan is still suffering, there is terrible devastation in Syria — we don’t want another conflict in this part of the world,” he asserted.
Emphasizing that the visits to Tehran and Riyadh were Pakistan’s “initiative”, Khan said he was also approached by US President Donald Trump to “facilitate some sort of dialogue between Iran and the United States”.
Iranian president Hassan Rouhani said, “I told Prime Minster Imran we welcome any gesture by Pakistan for peace in the region and appreciate his visit to our country.” He said that the two leaders had discussed the war in Yemen and the sanctions imposed by the United States on Iran among many other issues. “Regional issues have to be resolved through regional means and dialogue. We also emphasized that any goodwill gesture will be responded withgoodwill gesture and good words,” said the Iranian president.
Pakistan has strong relations with Saudi Arabia, with more than 2.5 million of its nationals living and working in the kingdom, but it also maintains good relations with Iran and represents Tehran’s consular interests in the United States (US).
Agencies add: An anti-terrorism court here on Monday took up the judge blackmailing case. The court extended for three days the physical remand of suspect Hamza Butt, son of Nasir Butt who is the central figure in the video leak controversy, while sent another suspect, Faisal Shaheen to jail on judicial remand.
Meanwhile, Shaheen recorded his confessional statement before a magisterial court saying he had shot the controversial video of a meeting between former accountability judge Arshad Malik and Nasir Butt.
He admitted that he played, what he said, the role of facilitator in the filming of the video.
Earlier, Oct 5, the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) had arrested both the suspects in the judge blackmailing case.
Shaheen was arrested in a raid in a Rawalpindi locality. Following the arrest, the suspect was presented before an Islamabad court that handed him over to the FIA on physical remand for further investigation. The FIA officials said the suspect admitted to his involvement in filming the controversial video of judge Malik on a mobile phone, which was then transferred into a laptop. The laptop and another device used for the purpose belonged to suspect Hamza Butt’s cousin.
Addressing a press conference alongside top PML-N leadership on July 6, Maryam Nawaz had shown reporters a video in which accountability court judge Arshad Malik can be heard saying that there was “no proof of corruption against the deposed premier” in the Al-Azizia reference.