Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and COAS General Raheel Sharif have reached Saudi Arabia in their visit of the Kingdom and latter to Iran in order to defuse tensions between the two countries that have escalated in the recent weeks.
After execution of a Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al Nimr and critic of the Saudi regime earlier this month, Iran specifically and shias in some other countries held protests. Iranian went a bit too far and protesters set ablaze the Saudi embassy in Tehran and consulate in the city of Mashed. Saudi Arabia in response asked Iranian ambassador to leave the kingdom in hours. To show solidarity with Saudi Arab few other countries also did the same and asked Iranian envoys to leave their soil.
Saudi Arabia also announced a 34-state alliance to fight terrorism but surprisingly Iran, Syria, Iraq were not included in the alliance. At first Pakistan tried to distance itself from the alliance but after the visits of high Saudi officials Pakistan became part of the alliance but made it clear that Pakistani troops would not be sent to fight in any other country.
It was the best decision considering the internal situation of the country when we are already fighting a war against militancy.
Pakistan also enjoys better relations with Iran. Internationally imposed sanctions have been removed over Iran and other countries and multinational companies are looking forward to enhance ties with Iran. We should also do the same.
We must appreciate our leadership for playing the role of mediation to resolve issues of Saudi Arabia and Iran instead to put weight in one’s basket. International community has already asked both the countries to defuse the tensions between them. It is in the interest of Muslim countries particularly considering the chaos in the Middle East.
We should appreciate the efforts of our leadership to defuse the tension between Saudi Arab and Iran.