The foreign minister was asked by the Senate chairman to brief the upper house on developments on the foreign policy front last week.

Qureshi told the Senate that according to regional experts, the repercussions of the strike that killed Soleimani could be more severe than the 2011 raid that killed Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and the 2019 killing of militant Islamic State group chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

He said Iraq had decided to send its foreign minister to the United Nations to record protest because in their view the strike violated international law and UN charter. The Pakistani government presented its stance on the development on January 3.

He said, “I decided to contact the important foreign ministers of the region. Yesterday I talked in detail with the Iranian foreign minister and presented Pakistan’s stance on the incident and gained information from him,”

Foreign Minister Qureshi laid before the Senate 11 points which he said reflected why Pakistan is concerned about the US-Iran tensions:

  • The incident will further destabilise the region, especially the situation in Iraq and Syria
  • The crisis could have a negative impact on the Afghanistan peace process and Pakistan’s efforts in this regard could be undone
  • The situation in Yemen could get out of hand and attacks by Houthis on Saudi Arabia could increase
  • Hezbollah, which has in the past conducted rocket attacks, could go ahead and strike Israel
  • The situation could lead to high-profile assassinations of US personnel in the region 
  • Route blockades could be enacted leading to breakage in oil supply, which will have a negative impact on the regional and global economy
  • The Iran nuclear deal has come under severe pressure with the latest announcements coming out of Iran suggesting Tehran has virtually backed out of the deal that put restrictions on the country’s Uranium enrichment
  • The crisis could lead to terrorism rearing its head again in Pakistan
  • The developments have raised the chances of further division of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation
  • The situation has also impacted the Pakistani government’s efforts to unite the forum of OIC on the human rights violations in India-occupied Kashmir
  • India may pounce on the chance to destabilise Pakistan and conduct false-flag operations

Qureshi then proceed to then talk about Pakistan‘s involvement in the conflict “Pakistan does not support any unilateral action and is against the use of force as it never resolves matters”.

“Pakistan backs principles of sovereignty and territorial integrity as enshrined in the UN charter,” he said, adding that Pakistan urges all parties to exercise maximum restraint. 

“I even urged Iran to exercise its traditional wisdom and refrain from any escalatory measures in the larger interest of the region,” the minister added.

He said Middle East cannot be pushed into another war. “It will be disastrous and Pakistan will also face the repercussions of such an occurrence,” he cautioned.

“Pakistan’s soil will not be used against any other state,” Qureshi said, adding that Pakistan “will not be party to this regional conflict”.


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