Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

An undated file photo of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in which he can be seen attending a gathering. (AP)
Updated 19 June 2019

Pakistani politicians, analysts appreciate Saudi Crown Prince’s stance on regional peace

  • The Crown Prince’s recent statement reflects his wisdom and restraint, says Senator Sehar Kamran
  • International community must act to defuse situation in the Middle East, maintains senior analyst Zahid Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s major political parties and analysts on Monday appreciated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s statement that the Kingdom did not want a war in the Middle East.
In an interview last week, the Crown Prince also called for a decisive international position against Iran.
“At this very critical moment, the demonstration of restraint by the Saudi Crown Prince is very much appreciated. This shows his wisdom and rationale,” Senator Sehar Kamran of the Pakistan Peoples Party told Arab News, adding: “I believe the entire world will applaud the statement. We must give peace a chance and support efforts for political solution to all outstanding issues.”
“The international community can play an important role in reminding Iran of the consequences [of war] and help initiate a dialogues process to prevent further escalation of tensions in the region,” she continued.
Kamran said the recent attack on a Saudi oil tanker was a serious issue and must be strongly condemned.
“Every nation has the right to protect its sovereignty and national assets,” she noted. “Iran must act as a responsible state. A transparent investigation of the attack by the United Nations and collective wisdom on the issue will be the best option.”
Echoing her sentiment, Romina Khurshid Alam of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz party also welcomed the Crown Prince’s statement.

“Our party leadership has always advocated for peace in the region and supports Pakistan’s role as a mediator to resolve all outstanding issues,” she said.
Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the central information secretary of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party, told Arab News that “the PTI strongly condemns attacks on Saudi facilities by Houthis.”
He recalled that the Pakistani leadership had expressed its desire to play a mediator’s role for peace and stability in the Middle East.
Last week, Cheema told Arab News that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already urged the Houthis to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Saudi Arabia to resolve the conflict. “This is a divisive issue for the whole Muslim world and should be resolved through negotiations,” he added.
“Peace is essential for the development of countries in the Middle East,” former Pakistani ambassador Rizwan-ul-Haq told Arab News. “Any country which upsets the tranquility and peace of the region must be invited to explain its position to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and asked to change its stance in a unanimous and decisive way.”
“We should sit together with transgressors and find a diplomatic solution before resorting to extreme measures,” he added.
Veteran Pakistani political commentator Zahid Hussain said that “the attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf and oil facilities in the Kingdom have created a serious security situation in the Middle East and there is an urgent need for the international community to act and defuse the situation.”
“The Crown Prince is right that war is not an option,” he added.

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

Updated 46 min 17 sec ago

Pakistan’s efforts for Afghan peace process lauded globally – FM Qureshi

  • Details difficulties faced by Islamabad on the negotiations’ table
  • Says ball is in Kabul’s court now to end decades-old conflict in the country

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Saturday that the US and the international community had commended Pakistan for its role in the Afghan peace process.

“It was difficult to bring the Taliban to the negotiating table; and to convince the world that the problems plaguing Afghanistan could not be resolved by the use of force,” Qureshi said, according to a statement released by the Foreign Office (FO) Saturday.

He added that Pakistan had to strive hard to push for the resumption of peace talks after US President Donald Trump abruptly called off the negotiations, in September last year, following the death of an American soldier in a Taliban-induced attack in Afghanistan.

“It is heartening to see that the US and the Taliban were finally close to signing a peace deal on February 29 after a substantial reduction in violence,” he said.

Qureshi said that during Zalmay Khalilzad’s recent visit to Pakistan, he had warned the US’ special envoy for Afghanistan about elements in the country who were benefiting from the prolonged conflict in Kabul.

In a separate conversation with US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, he had “emphasized on the need for the two countries to strengthen their relationship once again.”

Qureshi noted that ordinary Afghans were yearning for peace after nearly 19 years of war, adding that it was now up to the Afghan elite to work toward making that a reality.

“Either way, Pakistan has played its role in the Afghan peace and reconciliation process and it was now up to the Afghans how they want to deal with the situation,” he said.