Jan 13, 2020, 4:35 PM
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Pakistan seeks de-escalation in region: Expert

Islamabad, Jan 13, IRNA -- Pakistan Foreign policy experts terming diplomatic initiative by Prime Minister Imran Khan on recent developments as a positive development said on Monday that it is part of Pakistan’s efforts to seek de-escalation in region.

They were responding to a question by IRNA at Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI), an Islamabad-based policy think tank, which had organized a round table discussion titled Implications of Military Flare-up in the Persian Gulf on Monday.   

Dr. Nazir Hussain Professor of Politics and International Relations at Quaid-e-Azam University said that our entire goal is to defuse tensions in the region.

He said that any conflict in the region would hamper peace process in Afghanistan which is not good for Pakistan.

Former Ambassador of Pakistan to Uzbekistan Riaz Bokhari expressing his views said Pakistan started a diplomatic offensive to diffuse tensions in region because instability in the area is against the interests of Pakistan.  “Peace should be restored, this is our objective,” he said.

Former Pakistani envoy to the United Nations and IAEA, Ali Sarwar Naqvi, chairing the session said the flare up in Middle East should not be seen in isolation.

He added that situation aggravated when the US pulled out of the JCPOA a deal that was signed after twelve years of diplomatic efforts.  “Whole structure of the nuclear deal was set aside by Trump and started an open hospitality towards Iran,” he said.

The ambassador went on to say that Iran was outraged at the attitude of Trump and at that time the US assassinated IRGC Quds force commander Lieutenant General Qasem Soleimani, the most outstanding general of the Iranian armed forces and this led to sad progression of events in the region.

Ali Sarwar Naqvi added that the situation is evolving but the whole scenario is taking a grim turn.  He warned that a conflict in the region would suit Zionist regime.

Former Ambassador Riaz Bokhari said that assassination of General Soleimani was another aggressive US action against Iran.

“General Soleimani was not an ordinary general that is why Iran reacted strongly and fired missiles on US targets inside Iran,” he said.

The expert noted it was a self-calculated measure for self-defense but Iran has made it clear that it does not seek escalation in the region.

He said the move has shown Iran’s capability of high-tech superior technology in the region.  He viewed the assassination unified Iranian nation against the US. He added that in future Russian influence may grow in the Middle East.

The expert said the US should review sanctions and shed its plans to change government in Iran then there would be peace in region.

Research Councilor at Iran Embassy Masoud Zamani said martyred General Qasem Soleimani was a great man who embarked on a life-long struggle to make the world a better and safer place.

“The United States' terrorist assassination of one of the Iranian top military commanders has in fact opened the gates to an action which might, sooner or later, come to haunt itself across the globe,” he noted.

He said the US has proved, once again, to everybody, its total, blatant disregard for the international law as well as for universally-recognized rights.

“Martyred General Qassem Soleimani represented the voice of independence-seeking struggles of a region that has been afflicted with the unfortunate accumulation of multi-layered problems,” he said.

He said extremist groups like Al-Qaida, Daesh and Al-Nusra Front view commanders like Soleimani as their greatest enemy.

He added the US has demonstrated, for the many times, how it can take dangerous steps, from its miscalculations and misconceptions of the domestic situation in Iran and of the region, to wreak insecurity in the world and, ultimately in their own country.

“We deeply believe that although solutions to the current crises might far-fetched, they are, in actual fact, within reach and accessible,” said Zamani.

He said the path chosen by the US for itself and the region is characterized by insecurity, war and bloodshed.

“Iran will continue to serve as the anchor of peace and security and also as the axis of regional development,” he noted.

Dr. Nazir Hussain in his presentation said assassination of General Soleimani was a violent act by hegemonic power however many even in the US did not approve this action.

He added that Trump had reinvigorated the US rivalry towards Iran by withdrawing from the JCPOA. 

The analyst said Iran is Pakistan’s geopolitical neighbor with which we have strong ties. He added there should not be any war in the region and this is the major concern of Pakistan.

He said that it is very strange that no country in the world has taken the matter to the UN Security Council. 

Senior journalist Baqir Sajjad Syed said that it is not clear that what the US has achieved by assassinating General Soleimani. He feared that Trump instead of continuing economic warfare against Iran is moving towards direct conflict towards Iran.

Security Analyst Tauqir Ahmed said that the US will not use military to attack Iran despite Zionist pressures but would continue to threaten Iran.

Executive Director IPI Professor Sajjad Bokhari in his views said that the Middle East which has been suffering from turmoil for past many decades holds significant importance for Pakistan. 

He said assassination of General Soleimani by the US has no legal and moral grounds.  “Trump took this very dangerous decision in growing domestic problems especially the impeachment he is facing,” said the analyst. 

He noted General Soleimani assassination kicked off crisis in Middle East which would have consequences for the region and beyond.

The conference was attended by diplomats, academics, and representatives of think tanks.

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