Pakistan has agreed to help West Asian nations resolve the ‘Qatar crisis’. Islamabad recently informed the Arab countries that it was ready to play an active role in normalising the situation in West Asia.
The Nawaz Sharif government in Islamabad has made clear that it wants to maintain cordial ties with all the ‘Sunni Muslim’ nations. Recently, Saudi Arabia and six other Muslim countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar for allegedly backing terror outfits. It was reported that Pakistan, like Turkey, might send armed forces to Qatar. However, Islamabad rejected the report, saying that it had no such plan. Pakistan also blasted a section of media for trying to destroy its relationship with the Arab world.
Prime Minister Sharif discussed the ongoing crisis with his Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa before his arrival in Saudi Arabia on Monday for high-level talks. During their meeting in Riyadh, Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud asked the visiting Pak premier whether Islamabad was backing Riyadh’s move against Doha. In reply, PM Sharif said that it would not be possible for Pakistan to back any party. He assured King Salman that Pakistan was ready to hold talks with Qatar in order to resolve the crisis. A Pakistani daily reported that Sharif might also visit Qatar, Kuwait and Turkey to discuss the issue.
India, too, is closely monitoring the current political situation in West Asia. New Delhi has expressed hope that the crisis will be resolved through peaceful negotiation. A senior official of the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said American President Donald Trump openly declared that he encouraged the Arab nations to snap ties with Qatar. The official, who wished to remain anonymous, opined that Pakistan is actually trying to send a positive message to the US by playing an active role in current situation. He explained that India not only accused Pakistan of promoting terrorism in South Asia, but also urged the Trump administration to take action against Islamabad for creating tension in the region. Now, the Qatar crisis allows the Sharif administration to come close to Washington, stressed the Indian official.
Meanwhile, the Qatar crisis has taken a new turn, with Doha withdrawing all its troops from the border of Djibouti and Eritrea. Earlier, the emir of Qatar had decided to mediate between the two East African nations, who have a long-running dispute over the territory. Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani also sent troops to east Africa mainly to restore peace in the region. Later, he changed his mind because of “possible” Saudi aggression. The UN, too, has expressed serious concern over the ongoing crisis in West Asia.
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