By Muhammad Luqman
Pakistan has expressed “deep concern” over the tensions resulting from the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani in a US drone strike , warning that escalation of tensions in the Middle East could endanger the world peace as a whole.
Maj Gen Soleimani was killed on Friday in a US strike on Baghdad’s international airport, in a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries.
“Pakistan has viewed with deep concern the recent developments in the Middle East, which seriously threaten peace and stability in the region,” according to foreign office statement.
“Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, which should be adhered to,” the statement said, adding that it is “important to avoid unilateral actions and use of force”.
The statement urged all parties involved 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”.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s army chief, General (COAS) Qamar Javed Bajwa in a call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday emphasised “need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement” following the killing of top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) via Twitter confirmed that the two had spoken. “COAS received telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Regional situation including possible implications of recent escalation in Middle East was discussed.”
“COAS emphasised need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate the situation in broader interest of peace and stability,” said the army’s media wing in another tweet. “COAS also reiterated the need for maintaining focus on success of Afghan Peace Process.”
Earlier, the Pentagon said US President Donald Trump ordered Soleimani’s “killing”, after a pro-Iran mob this week laid siege to the US embassy in Baghdad. Meanwhile, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei vowed to exact “severe revenge” for the general’s death.
Responding to this development, the oil prices in the international market have risen sharply after the killing of the top Iranian general in Iraq.
Analysts warned the action could escalate tensions in the region and affect global oil production.
The price of Brent crude jumped by more than 4% to hit $69.50 a barrel at one point, the highest since mid-September.
The price spike pushed oil stocks on the London stock exchange higher, with BP up 2.7% and Royal Dutch Shell nearly 1.9% higher.
By Muhammad Luqman