Pakistan to attend Iran moot despite Saudi disapproval

Sancti­ons agains­t Iran’s allege­d nuclea­r ambiti­ons have kept EU countr­ies away from the confer­ence.

Qaiser Butt June 20, 2011


Rejecting Saudi Arabia’s request against participating in an Iranian-sponsored International Conference on Global Fight against Terrorism, Pakistan will attend the meeting in Tehran on June 25, an official told The Express Tribune.

President Asif Ali Zardari along with Minister for Oil and Natural Resources Dr Asim Hussain, Interior Minister Rehman Malik and Minister for Water and Power Syed Naveed Qamar will represent Pakistan in the meeting that will continue for two days.

Many Western, Middle Eastern and most Central Asian countries have decided to stay away from the conference. The UN and European Union sanctions against Iran’s alleged nuclear ambitions have kept EU countries from attending as well.

Neighbouring Middle Eastern states, led by Saudi Arabia, have decided to ignore the Iranian invitation as a mark of their resentment over Tehran’s alleged support to the  “peoples uprising”  in Bahrain and other Arab countries.

Before the inauguration of the conference, Zardari will hold talks with his Iranian counterpart over the $7.6 billion Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project that will provide a desperately needed supply of energy to Pakistan from 2014 .Discussions will also cover another proposal of electricity supply to Pakistan from Iran.

The talks between the two leaders over the gas project, strongly opposed by the United States, may culminate in a decisive step for the execution of the already delayed project. Iran has already completed the construction of 1,000 kilometers of the pipeline out of the 1,100 kilometers portion on Iranian soil.

Iran has also proposed that an electricity transmission network be built next to the pipeline, connecting the electricity grid of Iran with that of Pakistan. Additionally, Iran has offered to sell 1,000 megawatts hours of electricity to Pakistan at a subsidised rate.

Saudis conveyed their opposition to the Iranian conference to Islamabad through Pakistan’s charge d’affaires in Riyadh last month. The Pakistani envoy was told that Riyadh also planned to host an international conference against terrorism.

Saudi Arabia, while asking Pakistan not to attend, had maintained that hosting the conference was an attempt by Tehran to come out of world isolation.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, the presidents, prime ministers and foreign ministers of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan, Republic of Benin, Bolivia, Sudan and a few other countries have also accepted the invitation by the Iranian president.

The main purpose of the conference is to provide an opportunity for exchanging views on the reasons for the growth in terrorist activities, and challenges and obstacles to the fight against terrorism.

Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Ahmed Vahidi said last month that western countries were the source of spreading terrorism worldwide, an IRNA report said.  The minister added that western states were violating the territorial integrity of other countries through occupying and destroying them under the pretext of fighting against terrorism. He made these remarks during his meeting with the president of Mauritania.

Earlier in May, Iran hosted the International Conference on the Global Alliance against terrorism for peace in Tehran. The event, which brought together over 100 foreigners and 300 local experts, focused on efforts aimed at uprooting terrorism. (edited by Zehra Abid)

Published in The Express Tribune, June 20th, 2011.


Dallas Ali | 11 years ago | Reply

@Ali Abid: Abid Thanks for bringing up Humphrey in this discussion, I knew about him but did not know that he was a Brit.

Saudi-Wahabi have done nothing but left carnage everywhere including the 9/11. I hope next huj season is the last one under Saudi banner. US is going to dump them just like Shah, Marcos, Mubarak and other dictators. There mandate of looting is over this is a new era.

Pakistan should continue to have friends of their choosing starting with India, Iran, Afghan and should not get dictated but some corrupt looter. While on this subject I must add that Pakistan should not send its troops in any civil strife not mandated by UN (e.g. Bahrain & 2 Divisions on standby for potential deployment to S. Arabia in case of civil disobedience).

Ali Abid | 11 years ago | Reply

I really appreciate the governments decision... For long has Saudi Arabia used Pakistan to act as an Anti Iran state... It still funds terrorists here in Pakistan to keep it's interest alive... I am happy to see that the people of Pakistan Have begun to see the naked picture of the Saudi's, who are a menace in this region and especially Pakistan...

@ Sudhir : You say Saudi Brand of Islam is the true one, I suggest you should do your basics right upon History and Read the memoirs of Sir Humphary, A british spy in the Middle east... Who during the Ottoman Empire trained Abdul Wahab to start a Wahabbi Sect and divide the muslims of the ottoman empire, so that the British can break it.... And it is this distorted Islam which is being taught in your Saudi Funded Madrassas so that your country suffers and Saudi interests are safeguarded....

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