Pakistan will do all it can to diplomatically resolve Gulf crisis: PM

Mona Khan

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Thursday that Pakistan will do all it can to amicably resolve the Gulf crisis through diplomacy.

Speaking to the media during his trip to Kazakhstan, the premier stressed that Pakistan enjoys good relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran and Qatar, and will try its best to resolve the differences between the Arab countries.

He also said that the Muslim World should play its role in ending the crisis. 

The prime minister reached Kazakhstan on Thursday to attend the two-day meeting of the Heads of State Council of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Sharif, accompanied with his wife Kalsoom Nawaz, was received by the Kazakh deputy foreign minister.

The premier's delegation also comprises Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Commerce Minister Khurram Dastagir and Foreign Affairs Adviser Sartaj Aziz. 

On Thursday, the prime minister met the president of Uzbekistan. The sources said he may also hold an unscheduled meeting with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. 

According to sources, Nawaz is expected to fly to Qatar and Kuwait after his Kazakhstan trip. 

On Friday, the premier is expected to hold meetings with the Mongolian and Russian presidents.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also attending the conference, as India too will be granted full membership of the SCO.

Sources said a chance meeting between Sharif and Modi is possible on the sidelines of the summit, during other officials events. 

With the inclusion of Pakistan and India, the SCO will have a total of eight states as permanent members — after China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Other observer states and governments and international organisations are also part of the group. 

The group will then represent nearly half of the world’s population after the inclusion of the subcontinental neighbours.  

A group photo at the SCO summit in Russia in 2015. Photo: Reuters

Pakistan and India both currently hold observer status at SCO. The decision, in principle, to grant Pakistan the membership was taken by the SCO Heads of States meeting at Ufa, Russia in 2015.

The prime minister will also attend the inaugural ceremony of the International Expo 2017, in which more than 100 countries, including Pakistan, are participating. 

NA expresses deep concern over recent development in Saudi-Qatar relations

National Assembly passed a resolution unanimously and expressed its deep concern over recent development in the relations of Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

The resolution which was moved by Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao called upon all countries to show restraint and resolve all differences through dialogue.

"This house also calls upon the government to take concrete steps towards forging unity amongst the Muslim Ummah in the region, in accordance with Parliament's unanimous resolutions dated 10-04-2015," the resolution said.