Premier initiates peace diplomacy

Says Pakistan can never be part of any war FM to visit Iran, Saudi Arabia, US in de-escalation bid US Defence Secretary calls COAS

By Ajmal Khan Yousafzai
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday asked Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi to visit Iran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United States of America (USA) to meet his counterparts, and convey a clear message that Pakistan was ready to play its role for peace, but it could never again be part of any war. He also asked Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to contact relevant military leaders of Iran, KSA and USA to convey the same message. “I have asked FM Qureshi to visit Iran, KSA & USA to meet with respective foreign ministers, Secretary of State; & COAS Gen Bajwa to contact relevant military leaders to convey a clear message: Pakistan is ready to play it’s role for peace but it can never again be part of any war,” the prime minister said in a tweet posted on his social media account. Expressing Pakistan’s deep concern over the evolving situation in the Gulf and Middle East, Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday underlined the imperative of avoiding any further escalation. The prime minister stressed that war was in nobody’s interest and called for immediate measures for de-escalation. He was was talking to Minister for Endowment and Religious Affairs of Oman Sheikh Abdullah bin Muhammad bin Abdullah Assalami here, PM Office Media Wing in a press release said. Recalling that Pakistan had suffered greatly due to earlier regional conflicts, the prime minister made it clear that it would not be part of any conflict in the region. He also recalled his earlier efforts for facilitation of contacts between the United States and Iran as well as Iran and Saudi Arabia for peaceful resolution of differences and disputes. He said Pakistan would always be a partner for peace and in that regard, it would continue to play its role in seeking to defuse tensions, prevent a conflict, and preserve the peace. During the meeting, the recent developments in the Middle East and Gulf region were discussed. The prime minister also highlighted the dire human rights and humanitarian situation arising out from the inhuman lockdown in the Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir (IOJK) for over five months and noted the discriminatory policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party government against minorities, especially Muslims. He stressed upon the international community to take urgent steps to address this situation. The prime minister while noting the traditionally close fraternal ties between Pakistan and Oman, expressed the desire to further strengthen the bilateral cooperation in all fields. He also extended cordial greetings and best wishes for Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al-Said. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS0 received telephone call from US Secretary of Defence MrDr Mark T. Esper Both discussed ongoing security situation in the Middle East. The Secretary expressed that US doesn’t want to seek conflict, but will respond forcefully if necessary. “We would like situation to de-escalate & shall support all initiatives which bring peace in the region. We call upon all concerned to avoid rhetoric in favour of diplomatic engagement. We all have worked a lot to bring peace in the region by fighting against terrorism”, COAS added.