PM Nawaz, army chief head to Saudi, Iran to mend rift

Published: January 16, 2016


Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is set to visit Saudi Arabia and Iran in a bid to mend ties between the arch-rivals after the Saudi execution of a prominent Shia cleric led to mob attacks on the Kingdom’s diplomatic posts in Iran, Express News reported.

Information Minister Pervaiz Rashid confirmed on Saturday that the premier would depart Monday for Riyadh, together with Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, where they will meet with King Salman.

Saudi-Iran row: Pakistan will put its own interests first, says Sartaj Aziz

On Tuesday the premier will meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran.

Pakistan this week offered its ‘good offices’ to defuse tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran even as it supported the Saudi initiative to establish a coalition of like-minded Islamic states to counter terrorism and extremism.

Pakistan offers to defuse Saudi-Iran tensions

Saudi Arabia and Iran are at a tense standoff following a prominent Shia cleric’s execution by the former on January 2.

Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shia Iran back opposite sides in the wars in Syria and Yemen. Saudi Arabia cut diplomatic ties with Iran after the attacks on its diplomatic posts.

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Reader Comments (24)

  • Farhan
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:04PM

    I think one of the best moves by Nawaz Sharif. As much as I am against his policies and vision, this is one step that will surely go a long way. Credit where credit is due.Recommend

    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:09PM

    why visit to Iran? Iran is a terrorist country..involved in Syria,Iraq,Yemen and Lebanon,,, Recommend

  • Farru
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:27PM

    Sensible move. Kudus to PM for taking this initiative and keep the Army chief with him. This is how Pakistan can best protect its interests without taking sides.Recommend

  • Raheel
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:34PM

    Al saud family should be hanged every member of the family is killerRecommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:37PM

    Only NS the statesman can do the undoable. Kudos to the man.Recommend

  • Anab
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:44PM

    I appreciate the step taken by PM and COAS and hope their visit will yields in fruitful result towards defusing tension between KSA and Iran.Recommend

  • Moiz
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:47PM

    I absolutely detest the fact that our country is cozying up to Saudi Arabia even after all the extremism, ignorance and backwardness they have spread in our country.

    Shows just how much the leaders don’t have spines. Recommend

  • Malik Saab
    Jan 16, 2016 - 4:54PM

    Your all comments are to create differences among Pakistanis and Pro-Indian. Are you sure you are a Pakistani?. Why your all comments are just to spoil the environment and sectarian based?. Recommend

  • MSH
    Jan 16, 2016 - 5:20PM

    A very wise step on the part of government.Whatever effort is taken towards the normalization of relations not only between Iran and Saudis but among other countries including With indian must be welcomed.
    I.m sure the Gen Raheel Sharif with his vision and stature will be able to convince the two countries to bury their differences for the benefit of their own citizens and world peace.Recommend

  • Waqar Ali Shah
    Jan 16, 2016 - 5:29PM

    Immense display of stature and statesmanship befitting the sole Muslim nuclear power, and a shimmering feather in the hats of both gentlemen.

    What a beautiful day for us, this is what Pakistan is about.Recommend

  • Waseem
    Jan 16, 2016 - 5:40PM

    Chief and Nawaz going together to mend differences between two Muslim brother countries is a super step.Recommend

  • FN
    Jan 16, 2016 - 6:27PM

    @Observer: Yeah okay. “Iran is a terrorist country.. involved in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Lebanon..” and Saudi Arab is notRecommend

  • Jan 16, 2016 - 7:48PM

    @OBSERVER: without understanding the gravity of the human disaster involved, you make an explosive statement that shows the level of your intelligence! Wow! Salams Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Jan 16, 2016 - 7:56PM

    Although I find it odd for Nawaz Sharif to take along with him his army chief, under the circumstances it is the best move by Nawaz Sharif. Recommend

  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Jan 16, 2016 - 8:25PM

    Shareef + Shareef! Not bad idea but purely on merits and unbiased as Pakistan must have good relations with both Iran and Saudia and in this situation where both are Pakistan friends, our leaders must not tilt neither on the right nor on the left and instead be quite judicious in its approach and must have courage to say black as black and not otherwise. Good luck you both who are ‘Shareef’ in any case so the nation does not expect them that on the said trip to Saudia and Iran they do not turn as ‘Shareer’. Iqbal Hadi Zaidi / Kuwait / [email protected]Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jan 16, 2016 - 8:35PM

    Ask Syrians, Iraqis, Yemenis, Afghanis, and Lebanese, who is the terrorist country. Almost all incidents of terrorism anywhere in the world is perpetrated by the Arabs if not Saudis.Recommend

  • Ali khan
    Jan 16, 2016 - 9:19PM

    Saudi are Pakistani friends . Iran is not it’s as simple as that time has proven it the Saudi has stood with us. We are stupid to side with Iran on anything sorry if this hurts our Shia Pakistanis feelings but maybe they should get Iran to side with us first! Instead Iran is undermining gawadar with India building pipelines that bypass pakistan to India. It is straight forward the Saudi took ur side when the uae came at us with harsh words! We have nothing to gain from Iran and a lot to lose from not siding with saudi arabia.Recommend

  • Wizarat
    Jan 16, 2016 - 9:25PM

    Glad to hear it. General knows what is good for Pakistan’s security and economy.

    It makes a lot of sense

    Godspeed and may be this is the beginning of sensible role of Pakistan in the Muslim world.Recommend

  • Tariq Aslam
    Jan 16, 2016 - 9:42PM

    Excellent step by Pakistan.

    This is what Pakistan was created for and shows the ideology of one ummahRecommend

  • Jan 16, 2016 - 9:50PM

    A good initiative from pakRecommend

  • Paaji
    Jan 17, 2016 - 12:22AM

    Good but depends totally on intentions. Recommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi
    Jan 17, 2016 - 2:37AM

    @Raj – USA:
    Did Nawaz Sharif take him along, or General Raheel take him along? Please stay away from internal policies of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Azi
    Jan 17, 2016 - 4:33AM

    There we go again, it’s like we are predestined to be the middle man in every quarrel. Why be a part of this drama? Ask we will get from them would be complaints of not doing good enough as always.. Our leaders really need help in decision makingRecommend

  • komal s
    Jan 17, 2016 - 7:26AM

    @Sarfaraz Abbasi:
    Ooh touchy! Me thinks this is drama to avoid taking action on pathankot. It is kind of strange that they have to invite themselves one day before China visit. Maybe they are going there to prep for China visit.Recommend

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