Pakistan

ASTHANA- Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif stated on Thursday that Pakistan was ready to play the role of mediator to help end the diplomatic crisis in the Middle East.

The premier made these remarks as he arrived in Kazakhstan to represent Pakistan in Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

“Pakistan would try to solve the crisis diplomatically,” said PM Nawaz adding that Pakistan valued its ties with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Iran.

The premier’s remarks came after lawmakers expressed “deep concern” over the diplomatic anxiety surfaced after major Muslim countries severed their ties with Qatar. They also passed a resolution urging all countries to “show restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue.”

The resolution said the Lower House also called upon the government to take concrete steps towards forging unity amongst the Muslim Ummah in the region.

Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s chief whip in the National Assembly Sheerin Mazari also called for Pakistan to leave the Saudi-led 41-nation Islamic military alliance, urging the government to adopt a neutral role in the Middle East.

“The conflict between Qatar and Saudi Arabia has America and Israel’s fingerprints all over it,” she claimed.

“Qatar is being played… Pakistan should stay neutral and play a positive role and try to help resolve the conflict,” she said.

“[US President] Donald Trump and Israel are against a united Muslim Ummah. Pakistan should immediately exit the Islamic military alliance,” she demanded.

Isolating Qatar

On Monday, five Arab states, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen and Egypt, and other non-Arab countries cut all diplomatic relations with fellow Gulf Arab state, Qatar, for allegedly supporting terrorism and extremism.

Pakistan’s Reaction

After the untoward decision by Muslim countries, international powers were wondering whether Pakistan would side with Saudi Arabia or take a different turn.

However, a Foreign Office statement confirmed that Pakistan had no immediate plan to severe ties with Qatar.

“Pakistan has no such plans,” FO spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said in a statement.

“At the moment there is nothing on Qatar issue, (we) will issue a statement if some development takes place,” Zakaria added.

Trump’s Support For Blockade

On Tuesday, Donald Trump appeared to take credit for the diplomatic and economic blockade imposed on Qatar by fellow Gulf states.

He tweeted, “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding.

 Kuwaiti Mediation

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah held talks with the Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz on ways to defuse an escalating crisis between Arab countries and Qatar. But no details were given on the talks.