Pakistan’s Imran Khan has launched a diplomatic initiative to urge de-escalation between the United States and Iran, dispatching his foreign minister to consult with relevant parties and push for the UN to take action.
Pakistan is a major player in the region and has healthy ties with both sides of the conflict; Iran and US. Currently, Pakistan is also playing a crucial role in the solution of the Afghanistan crisis by assisting in dialogue between the Afghani Taliban and US.
The prime minister announced that he had instructed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to meet with his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States to discuss growing tensions between Washington and Tehran.
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
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) January 8, 2020
He also ordered General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of Pakistan’s army staff, to consult with relevant military leaders about the situation. “Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but it can never again be part of any war,” Khan wrote.
Islamabad also called on the UN Security Council to help resolve the crisis. Qureshi said on Wednesday that the standoff must be resolved through dialogue, and that the region “simply cannot afford another war.”
Read more: World leaders condemn Iran attack targeting US troops
A US drone strike killed senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week, who was reportedly in Iraq to negotiate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. Iran retaliated with a series of missile strikes on US bases in the country.
International fears of an all-out war between the United States and Iran had been increasing with jingoistic statements of “severe revenge” and “bombing of cultural sites”, prior to better sense prevailing in the leadership on both sides.
Tehran said the strikes were in self-defense and signaled that it was not seeking further escalation. US President Donald Trump said that further sanctions would be imposed on Iran, but that it was not necessary to respond militarily.
RT with additional input by GVS News Desk.