Jul 24, 2019, 3:37 PM
Journalist ID: 1951
News Code: 83410053
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Confrontation with Iran dangerous for regional peace: Pak experts

Islamabad, July 24, IRNA -- Pakistan Foreign policy experts on Wednesday said that confrontation with Iran would be detrimental for regional peace and is not in anyone’s interest.

They were responding to a question by IRNA at Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI), an Islamabad-based policy think tank, which had organized a roundtable discussion to analyze Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Washington.

Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, former ambassador to the US said that if confrontation with Iran continues, Pakistan’s strategic environment will be destroyed and peace in Afghanistan will be put back for thirty years and that is all you need to tell America.

“Look into their eyes and tell them that if there is conflict with Iran there would be no chance for peace within the Middle East,” he advised Pakistani leadership.

He said the Prime Minister Imran Khan’s US visit provided a “good beginning”, but there could be problems ahead if things do not go as expected by President Trump.

He noted that the US wants Pakistan to do numbers of things with Taliban but the Pakistan’s influence on Taliban is limited.

Former Pakistani envoy to the United Nations, Ali Sarwar Naqvi, expressing his views said that the role Pakistan can play in defusing tensions in the Persian Gulf is just to counsel restraint.

“We have been saying that there should be restraint and there should be avoidance of war or conflict but there is not much we can do besides counseling the restraint,” said the expert.

Muhammad Mujeeb Afzal, Assistant Professor at School of Politics and International Relations (SPIR) Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad viewed that Americans at the moment don’t like to have confrontation with Iran.

He noted that the country has already lost two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and this has given space to China’s rise and if they start another conflict in the region it will give more space to China’s peaceful rise which they can’t afford.  

He feared that environment of distrust in Washington with respect to Pakistan would continue and delivering the ceasefire in Afghanistan would be difficult for Islamabad.

“It (PM Imran US visit) was a good event, but there was not much of strategic importance in it,” he contended. He said: still we have environment of suspicion and distrust in the US.

Executive Director IPI Professor Sajjad Bokhari, in his remarks, said: “There is a feeling that whatsoever President Trump offered to Prime Minister Imran Khan is subject to progress on Afghanistan.

“It is not unconditional,” explaining his contention, he said, the two sides agreed to a mechanism to monitor the understandings reached during the summit, but there was no resumption of high level bilateral dialogue, which could have provided a platform for a sustainable dialogue.

Yasir Mahmood, a foreign policy analyst, maintained that Pakistan’s economic compulsions forced the country’s leadership to go overboard.  He too mentioned the complications in delivering on US expectations and noted that President Trump is a “desperate person”.

Raza Rumi, Policy analyst, journalist and author Policy Analyst Raza Rumi described the trip of Pakistani PM to US as a “door opening” in Pak-US ties.

He said it was important to rebuild US ties because of huge Pakistani diaspora there, the remittances they send back home, and the fact that America is one of major export destination for Pakistani products.


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