Pak to remain impartial in Iran-US tussle: FM

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OUR CORRESPONDENT

ISLAMABAD

Pakistan is closely observing the ongoing tensions between Iran and the United States but will not join any camp in case of a conflict, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said on Tuesday. Speaking to reporters after attending a meeting of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Qureshi said Pakistan was concerned over the rising tensions between Tehran and Washington.

He said that any conflict could have negative implications for the entire region, including Pakistan. Therefore, we need to evolve a clear strategy on this, the minister said. He, however, made it clear that Pakistan would not join any camp in the ongoing tensions in the Gulf. His statement came against the backdrop of heightened fears of a clash between the US and Iran. The US had recently sent an aircraft carrier and a bomber taskforce to the Middle East in response to what officials called a credible threat by Iranian regime forces.

Saudi Arabia said that several of its oil tankers had been damaged in mysterious sabotage attacks after US warnings that Iran could target shipping in the region. Observers believe that any serious conflict between Iran and the US would test the diplomatic skills of Pakistan, which has close ties with Iran’s arch-rival Saudi Arabia but at the same time does not want to antagonise the neighbouring country.

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