Friday Jan 03, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday urged Iran and the United States to exercise "maximum restraint" as tensions flared between the two countries following the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani at an airport in Baghdad.
According to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), Pakistan has "viewed with deep concern the recent developments in the Middle East", adding that it could seriously threaten peace in the region.
Islamabad urged Iran and the US indirectly to "avoid unilateral actions and use of force", and abide by the UN charter which lays emphasis on territorial integrity and sovereignty.
"All parties are urged to exercise maximum restraint, engage constructively to de-escalate the situation, and resolve issues through diplomatic means, in accordance with UN Charter and international law," the statement reads.
Tens of thousands took to the streets in Tehran after Friday prayers to shout slogans against the US for killing Soleimani.
The Pentagon said that US President Donald Trump had ordered the hit on Soleimani after a pro-Iran mob this week laid siege to the US embassy.
Declaring three days of mourning across the country, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to take "severe revenge" for Soleimani's death.
During his speech at the US Institute of Peace, Prime Minister Imran Khan had warned the world that a conflict with Iran would unleash terrorism that will make the world forget about Al-Qaeda.
"I'm not sure if all the countries realise the gravity of the situation. If there's a conflict with Iran, people don't understand. You know, this is not going to be the same as Iraq, this could be much, much, much worse. It will have great consequences for Pakistan," he had said, referring to deteriorating ties between Washington and Tehran.
He had further said that Pakistan was "willing to do anything" so that the conflict between the US and Iran could be avoided. He warned the world that Tehran should not be "pushed into a situation where it leads to a conflict."