Pakistan to remain neutral in U.S.-Iran tension: Pakistani army

Source: Xinhua| 2020-01-06 00:01:34|Editor: Mu Xuequan
Video PlayerClose

ISLAMABAD, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani army said on Sunday the country will remain neutral in the current conflict between the United States and Iran after a U.S. airstrike killed an Iranian commander in Iraq.

Pakistan's military spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan will not become part of any action that undermines the regional stability.

Comments from Ghafoor, director general of Pakistani army's media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, came after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke to Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa by telephone on Friday and discussed the regional situation including possible implications of recent escalation in the Middle East.

Bajwa emphasized the need for "maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate" the situation in broader interest of peace and stability, according to the army.

The spokesman said Bajwa had emphasized during his telephone conversation with Pompeo to reduce tensions between the regional countries.

When asked about speculations after Bajwa-Pompeo talks that Pakistan could side with the United States against Iran, Ghafoor dismissed all reports as false and said the U.S. leaders routinely contact the army chief on matters related to regional peace.

"I appeal to the media and the people not to pay any attention to the propaganda by inimical forces," the spokesman said, adding Pakistan considers any escalations in the region as against regional peace.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Iranian leaders have issued threatening statements after a U.S. airstrike on Friday near Baghdad International Airport killed Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.

"The army chief told Pompeo that the region is heading towards stability from the worst situation and the success of the Afghan peace process is a must for regional stability and Pakistan is playing its positive role in this regard. Pakistan wants focus on peaceful solution and we should avoid any move which can harm Afghan peace process," Ghafoor said.