PTI chief Imran Khan on Friday said Pakistan should not become part of any coalition against neighboring Iran.
Talking to reporters he said being a nuclear state, Pakistan should play a ‘leading role’ in resolving the Iran-Saudi Arabia standoff.
Protest against Pakistan's role in Saudi-led military coalition
“If Pakistan becomes part of coalition, it will become difficult to play any role as mediator” Khan said while talking to reporters.
Khan had separate meetings with the ambassadors of Saudi Arabia and Iran before his press talk. He feared that escalation of tension between the two Muslim countries would have a negative impact on Pakistan.
Referring to relations with the countries, the PTI chief said one was Pakistan’s close friend and the other is a neighbor.
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“We are in opposition, but we have made our position clear. The government should make its position clear on the issue” he added
He said learning from history Pakistan should not become part of any proxy war.
He further said that all political parties in Pakistan, including PTI, strongly condemned the terrorist attack on Indian Airbase in Pathankot.
Pakistan’s stakes in Saudi-sponsored coalition
According to PTI chief recent interactions between Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif with his Indian counterpart were on a personal level.
“The prime minister’s meeting with Modi did not happen through foreign office. These contacts were personal. It would have been better if PM had got institutional feedback before the meeting” he added.
Khan alleged that these interactions were organised by PM Nawaz’s Indian business partner Jandal, who has also been maligning Pakistan’s intelligence agencies.
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PTI vice chairman Shah Mehmood Qureshi said the government has agreed to brief the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs next Friday despite knowing that the tension is escalating with each passing day.
Shah said the government must take parliamentary committee into confidence as soon as possible instead of delaying briefing till next week.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 9th, 2016.
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