Gen Soleimani assassination to leave serious impacts on region: Pak FM

Islamabad, Jan 6, IRNA -- Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said on Monday that the situation arising after assassination of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US air strike is grave, urging the international community to play its role to de-escalate the tensions.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi while giving a policy statement in Senate regarding developments in the region said the repercussions of the strike that martyred IRGC Quds Force Commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani were severe and could engulf the whole region.

He went on to say that the analysts have termed the US invasion as a worrisome act. Qureshi asserted that a layer of anger and demonstration rose up across Iran and Iraq.

He added that the Iranian government also convened a national security meeting following the death of their top military commander.

Qureshi said Pakistan will present its position on the current situation to the European Union (EU). Qureshi showed fear that the prevailing tensions in Mideast can go in any direction.

He also recalled that Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif termed the attack as “global terrorism” and a foolish act respectively, which will escalate the tensions.

The foreign minister went on to say that active diplomacy to de-escalate tensions is the need of the hour.

He added Pakistan is very clear on its position: we stand for peace, stability and security in the region.

Qureshi said Iraq had also sent its foreign minister to the United Nations to record protest because in their view the strike violated international law and UN charter.

"I have contacted the foreign ministers of major powers in the region. I have talked in detail with the Iran foreign minister and presented Pakistan’s stance on the incident," he said, adding that he also spoke with the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

"The situation in the Middle East is very sensitive, fluid and concerning." The minister said the recent developments could destabilize the already volatile region.

Foreign Minister Qureshi said before the Senate why Pakistan is concerned about the US-Iran tensions.

He said the crisis will have a negative impact on Afghanistan and Pakistan’s efforts in this regard.

He said the situation could lead to high-profile assassinations in the region.

Qureshi noted the route blockades could be enacted leading to breakage in oil supply, which will have a negative impact on the regional and global economy.

He added that Iran's nuclear deal known as the JCPOA has come under severe pressure with the latest announcements coming out of Iran suggesting Tehran has virtually backed out of the deal that put restrictions on the country’s Uranium enrichment.

He assured the upper house of Parliament that Pakistan’s soil will not be used against any other country.

“Pakistan would neither let its soil to be used against any other state nor become part of any regional conflict,” FM Qureshi said.

He said that Pakistan will not be involved in any unilateral action. “Our policy is not to add fuel to the fire, neither will we become a part of it,” said the foreign minister.

Qureshi said that Pakistan works on its own set of principles, adding that the region of Middle East cannot afford to have a new war.

“If there is a fire then even we cannot escape its far-reaching effects,” he added.

Shah Mahmood Qureshi reiterated Pakistan’s readiness to continue to play its role in preventing further escalation and maintaining regional peace and stability.

He renewed the call on all parties concerned to abide by the United Nations (UN) Charter and principles of international law to settle differences through peaceful means.

General Soleimani and the Deputy Commander of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), known as Hash al-Shaabi, Abu Mahdi Al-Mohandes, who were separately leaving Baghdad airport in two cars were targeted and assassinated on Friday morning.

Iran's Ambassador to the United Nation Majid Takht Ravanchi has said that response to a military action will surely be a military action.

The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei announced three days of public mourning on the martyrdom of the Commander.

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