Pak to support all steps for regional peace: Gen Bajwa

US Secretary of Defence, COAS discuss Middle East situation

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RAWALPINDI
United States Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper on Wednesday telephoned Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss a recent escalation in the Middle East following the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, ISPR said in a statement.
Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Major General Asif Ghafoor took to Twitter saying, COAS received a telephone call from US Secretary of Defence Mark T Esper and both leaders discussed the ongoing security situation in the Middle East. US doesn’t want to seek conflict, but will respond forcefully if necessary, said ISPR as quoting US Defence secretary.
The COAS Bajwa said that Pakistan would like situation to de-escalate and support all initiatives which bring peace in the region. We call upon all concerned to avoid rhetoric in favour of diplomatic engagement. We all have worked a lot to bring peace in the region by fighting against terrorism, said COAS.
We will continue to play our constructive part towards the success of Afghan reconciliation process so that it doesn’t get derailed and region goes towards conflict resolution instead of new conflicts”, added ISPR as quoting Army Chieg Gen. Bajwa.
Tension escalating between US and Iran after Iranian Major-General Qassem Soleimani, head of the elite Quds Force, was killed on Friday in a US airstrike on his convoy at Baghdad airport.
Iran launched a ballistic missile attack on US forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday in retaliation for the US drone strike on an Iranian commander whose killing has raised fears of a wider war in the Middle East.
Iran has claimed that at least 80 people were killed in ballistic missiles targeting US military bases in Iraq. Tehran fired more than a dozen ballistic missiles from Iranian territory against at least two Iraqi military bases hosting US-led coalition personnel at about 1.30 a.m. local time, the US military said.

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