Pakistan’s Imran Khan has launched a diplomatic initiative to urge de-escalation between the United States and Iran, dispatching his foreign minister to consult with relevant parties and push for the UN to take action.
The prime minister announced that he had instructed Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to meet with his counterparts in Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United States to discuss growing tensions between Washington and Tehran. He also ordered General Qamar Javed Bajwa, chief of Pakistan’s army staff, to consult with relevant military leaders about the situation.
“Pakistan is ready to play its role for peace but it can never again be part of any war,” Khan wrote.
Islamabad also called on the UN Security Council to help resolve the crisis. Qureshi said on Wednesday that the standoff must be resolved through dialogue, and that the region “simply cannot afford another war.”
A US drone strike killed senior Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad last week, who was reportedly in Iraq to negotiate de-escalation with Saudi Arabia. Iran retaliated with a series of missile strikes on US bases in the country. Tehran said the strikes were in self-defense and signaled that it was not seeking further escalation. US President Donald Trump said that further sanctions would be imposed on Iran, but that it was not necessary to respond militarily.