ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Monday assured the Senate that Pakistan would not become a party in the war between the United States and Iran.
In his address on the escalation between the two countries after killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, Shah Mahmood Qureshi presented the stances of different world players before the Senate.
“I talked with Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif in detail and admitted seriousness of the issue. I also spoke to foreign ministers of the UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia,” he said.
He said United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said it was a preemptive strike as Soleimani intended to kill US officials. The White House said it was a decisive and defensive action, he added.
The foreign minister said Iran’s supreme leader had categorically promised of revenge. He said the situation could have spillover effects on Pakistan.
“The development has been described by the analysts as worrisome. The Middle East is being pushed towards a new war and the world should be ready for new challenges if it happens,” he warned.
He said Hezbullah’s Hassan Nasrullah has said that the culprit behind the killing should be brought to justice.
FM Qureshi said it could also have negative effect in Afghanistan and on the Afghan peace process. There were spoilers who did not want peace in Afghanistan, he maintained.
Shedding light on the implications the incident could have, he said Saudi Arabia could be attacked, Hezbollah could also attack Israel, it could lead to high profile assassination of US personnel in the region and it could pave the way for blockade of oil supply which would have severe impact not only on Pakistan but on the world market too.
Shah Mahmood Qureshi said India which had always been lying in wait to target Pakistan may launch a false flag attack.
He said it was feared that the jinn of terrorism which had been contained in the bottle would come out now.
FM Qureshi said there’s clarity in Pakistan’s approach, if there was a repercussion which pushed the region into war it would hinder our development agenda.
“Neither Pakistan nor the region can afford any new war. Pakistan requests the world powers, the UNSC to play their roles to diffuse the tension and protect the region from destabilization,” he said.