US-Iran Tensions: Pakistan for Peace Not Conflict, Not to Take Sides or Let Its Soil Be Used Against Any Third Country

“We are not party to the conflict, and we will not let our soil to be used against any third country”

DESPARDES — The military’s Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) on Sunday blasted India’s latest narrative regarding Pakistan and the US-Iran conflict, calling it a ‘propaganda’ and ‘fake news’.

Director General of ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan would play the role of a peacemaker and not take sides in the ongoing conflict between the United States and its neighbor Iran.

“Pakistan has defeated and eliminated terrorism on its territory and would not allow its soil to be used against any other country,” he said, while talking to private news TV channels.

“The conflict is a bilateral issue between the US and Iran, and both countries must exercise restraint and resolve their issues through negotiations, says a Pakistani defense official based in the Middle East.

“Both countries should not take any action which may result in unintended consequences and effect the entire region”, he said. “We are not party to the conflict, and we will not let our soil to be used against any third country,” he added.

The DG ISPR while rubbishing the claims made by the Indian media that Pakistan’s policy towards Iran had changed in the wake of resumption of US military training program for Pakistan Army as mere propaganda and a ‘fake news’.

Islamabad and Washington had been in talks for the last four or five months over the military training issue, and linking it as Pakistan aligning with the US was “Indian propaganda”, he said.

Gen. Ghafoor also spoke about the conversation between Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He said the Army Chief told Pompeo that the region was making progress towards peace from a very bad situation and the Baghdad incident would be detrimental to the peace efforts.

“General Bajwa has an important role with regard to regional security and the Afghan peace process, and Pakistan doesn’t want to see another conflict in this region,” he stated.

Iran and US tensions are at an all-time high following the killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by Washington in an airstrike.

According to The New York Times, top Pentagon officials were stunned when President Donald Trump decided to go with the extreme option of taking out Iran’s most powerful commander — after he “watched, fuming, as television reports showed Iranian-backed attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, according to Defense Department and administration officials.”

Global leaders have begun assessing the magnitude of the situation with many holding fears of World War 3 and destabilization of the Middle East.

Iran has vowed revenge. For the first time in the country’s history, a red flag was raised over the Holy Dome of Jamkarān Mosque symbolizing a severe battle to come which may effect the region.

Pakistan has a huge Shia community — they are the world’s second largest Shia community after that of Iran, and comprise nearly 15 per cent of Pakistan’s population.