Pakistan has no plans to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar: FO

Published: June 5, 2017
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Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Seeing off Emir of Qatar H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani at Noor Khan Airbase, Rawalpindi on 24th March, 2015.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif Seeing off Emir of Qatar H.H. Sheikh Tamim bin Hammad Al-Thani at Noor Khan Airbase, Rawalpindi on 24th March, 2015.

ISLAMABAD / ANKARA: Pakistan has no immediate plans to cut diplomatic ties with Qatar, Foreign Office spokesperson said on Monday.

The country “has no such plans,” the spokesperson, Nafees Zakaria, said, following Monday’s surprise severing of ties with Qatar by Islamabad’s key ally, Saudi Arabia, and three other Middle East nations.

“At the moment there is nothing on Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place,” Zakaria said. Pakistan, which has a significant Shia population, has in recent years been caught between the feud between its Sunni ally, Saudi Arabia, and Shia majority neighbour Iran.

Saudi, Bahrain, Egypt and UAE cut ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they were severing diplomatic ties with Qatar, as they accused the Gulf state of supporting terrorism.

Saudi news agency SPA said Riyadh cut diplomatic ties and closed borders with its neighbour to “protect its national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.

Severing ties with Qatar not solution to regional crisis – Iran

A senior Iranian official said on Monday the decision by some Gulf Arab states and Egypt to sever diplomatic ties with Qatar would not help end the crisis in the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt accused Qatar of supporting terrorism, opening up the worst rift in years among some of the most powerful states in the Arab world.

“The era of cutting diplomatic ties and closing borders is over… it is not a way to resolve crisis. These countries have no other option but to start regional dialogue,” Hamid Aboutalebi, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani, tweeted on Monday.

“What is happening is the preliminary result of the sword dance,” he said in an apparent reference to US President Donald Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia. Trump and other US officials participated in a ceremonial sword dance in a trip to Saudi Arabia last month.

Major UAE airlines suspend all flights to Qatar

During the trip Trump singled out Iran as a key source of funding and support for militant groups. Iranian authorities have criticised a rising alliance between Washington and Riyadh against Tehran, saying it would further heighten crisis in the Middle East.

Sunni Kingdom Saudi Arabia and Shia-led Iran are at odds over what Riyadh sees as Tehran’s efforts to tighten its grip on Arab states, from Iraq to Lebanon, and Syria to Yemen.

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Pakistani
    Jun 5, 2017 - 12:16PM

    Iranian and Arab backed extremist mullahs, mosques and madrassas need to be shut down and hate preachers need to be retrained so they can positively contribute to society

    As Theresa May said, Enough is Enough.

    Mullahs never wanted Pakistan, they only care about their power and the agenda of their foreign paymasters.Recommend

  • Solat
    Jun 5, 2017 - 12:22PM

    Wise decision.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Jun 5, 2017 - 1:04PM

    “…no immediateN plans..” Especially when govt needs backup documents from Qatari prince.Recommend

  • Saba
    Jun 5, 2017 - 2:12PM

    Saudi Arabia wants to raise oil prices by hook or crook. Recommend

  • MS
    Jun 5, 2017 - 2:59PM

    I am surprised to read that Pakistan did not know it was going to happen. It almost happened two years ago but after Qatar’s apology the issue was postponed. Pakistan’s media and FO has no clue about world affairs. That is the reason ordinary Pakistanis are divided on almost every issue. How can majority of Pakistanis see the real picture when their Government and Media is sleeping.Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 5, 2017 - 3:13PM

    pakistan needs a strong leader who can go to KSA and Iran and bring these two nations together….ZAB comes to mind. Musharaf comes to mind.

    West is quite pleased that Arabs are fighting each other….more military sale for them.Recommend

  • Khalid Javaid
    Jun 5, 2017 - 3:26PM

    Pakistan’s reluctance to be a part of any such aggressive move against any other Muslim state i.e., Iran, Qatar, may have been the trigger point for change in hearts which crystallized into enigmatic cold shoulder to Pakistani PM in Riyadh.Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 5, 2017 - 3:33PM

    Wise position taken……lets hope we stick to it.Recommend

  • Sara Khan
    Jun 5, 2017 - 5:04PM

    Pakistan better stay out of this Saudi intimidation crap

    Its the Saudi’s who are the mega sponsors of terror all over the world specially in muslim countries including the Pakistan Shia-Sunni divide

    BTW remember 9/11? 90% of them were Saudi nationals

    Really bad times for Muslims especially when terrorists (Saudi’s) represent it… Recommend

  • Qayoom Ul Hassan Shah
    Jun 5, 2017 - 5:10PM

    This is not Pakistan’s war…Pakistan has her own genuine issues and problems.Foremost being Kashmir issue…None of these countries have supported Pakistan openly in this regard.Although they were in a position to put a lot of pressure on India,that could have paved the way for solution to the K problem..But they didn’t,keeping in view,their interests vis a vis India…So better for Pakistan to remain neutral in this war,which is more about controlling middle east and less about the rights of people living in Syria or Yemen….Recommend

  • Faisal
    Jun 5, 2017 - 7:42PM

    @Sara Khan:
    Iran is no angel: Hezbollah in Lebanon, Houthis in Yemen overthrowing the elected government and killing civilians in the process, supporting Bashar in Syria who has butchered thousands of innocent civilians, allowing Indian spies to enter Pakistan, funding shia terrorists and militias in Iraq that have killed thousands of innocent civilians, always try to undermine Pakistan from things like our nuclear capability to seeking influence in Hazara communities, etc. Now that we find ourselves in a messy world, we cant afford to sit still in a moving train – better move closer to the Gulf – it makes FAR more sense. Remember the 5 million Pakistanis working happily in Gulf countries and providing repatriation of funds to home country versus the 5,000 Pakistanis living in Iran and doing God knows what there!! Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Jun 5, 2017 - 7:53PM

    And why should Pakistan? Saudi Arabia is the hub of terrorism. If any country deserves being isolated it’s the kingdom.Recommend

  • Rex
    Jun 6, 2017 - 8:02AM

    No plans to cut relations… until KSA comes calling.
    Stayed tuned for a 180 degree shift, this is NOT the last you will heard on this topic.Recommend

  • Amir
    Jun 6, 2017 - 9:26AM

    A time will come when KSA the main money and ideology provider to Pakistan will ask…are you with us or against us.

    And in case we still side with Qatar Iran, we should be ready for an influx of returning Pakistanis form the Middle East region.

    Pakistan a strong muslim military country, is totally weak in foreign policy. We are door mat for KSA and QatarRecommend

  • Jun 6, 2017 - 12:18PM

    Guys if this crap ends in next 5 days. Guess who is behind it all this?

    Read History and Don’t make fun of situation otherwise history will make fun of YOU..

    All arabs on one side and who was on other side? and today other side is enjoy watching all arabs fighting each others.

    Well thats best plan !!Recommend

  • F Khan
    Jun 7, 2017 - 4:51AM

    Good job NS.Stay neutral.Recommend

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