Imran says Pakistan won’t become a part of ongoing conflict between US and Iran

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said that Pakistan would not become a part of the ongoing conflict between the United States and Iran that has soared recently following Tehran’s top commander Gen Qasem Soleimani’s killing in a Pentagon-ordered airstrike in Baghdad.

Expressing deep concern over the evolving situation in the Middle East, Khan urged the two sides to take all steps to avoid any further escalation in tensions, Express Tribune reported after citing a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

Khan, earlier today, also spoke to Religious Affairs Minister of Oman, Abdullah Bin Muhammad Bin Abdullah Al-Salmi, over the increasing tension in the region.

He further pointed out during the talks that Pakistan had already suffered greatly due to regional conflicts in the past, and therefore would not become a part of any conflict in the region.

The statement comes hours after US Secretary of Defence Mark Esper reached out to Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to seek advice on the situation. “I always appreciate speaking with our partners and allies in the region,” Esper wrote on Twitter. “We all seek the de-escalation of tensions with Iran,” he added.

In a diplomatic outreach following Soleimani’s assassination, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo telephoned COAS General Bajwa and apprised him on the situation.

According to DG ISPR Maj-Gen Ghafoor, the army chief had emphasised that the regional tensions need to be reduced and urged relevant countries to move forward with practices and dialogue that aid the peace process. (ANI)