ISLAMABAD, Jan 8 (APP):Defence analysts, former envoys and members of academia on Wednesday suggested that Pakistan should remain neutral in the recent escalation between the United States and Iran, and its territory must not be used for the interest of any other state.
The participants of a discussion, organized by Centre for Global and Strategic Studies (CGSS) here, deliberated on the US-Iran situation and the possible policy option for Pakistan, a CGSS press release said.
“In case of full-fledged war, Pakistan will have to decide its stance and has to come up with a policy. India can also benefit from such situation and can create further tensions at the eastern border of Pakistan,” they said and added that Pakistan must adopt a pragmatic foreign policy to tackle the situation and adopt a management strategy.
They said the Pakistani leadership must engage in mediation process through bilateral visits to Iran, the US and other major players. Pakistan must call a parliamentary session to discuss the national security and create consensus.
In the past, they said, Pakistan had successfully maintained its neutral stance on various global issues, including Iran-Iraq war and Yemen crisis. However, it was about time that Pakistan must frame a policy to come up with a comprehensive strategy.
As far as, military escalation was concerned, they viewed that both the US and Iran would not go for full-fledged war, however, the situation would remain tense and confrontation was likely to continue.
The participants stated that the US-Iran tussle was three dimensional, i.e. global, regional and its effects on Pakistan, while Iran’s main objective was withdrawal of the US forces from Iraq and other Middle-Eastern countries.
The assassination of Iranian General Qasim Solemani by the US has triggered the situation and in response, Iran attacked the Ain al-Asad airbase of the US in Iraq, they said, adding, however, Iran did not want any further escalation.
They said the US accused the involvement of Qasem Soleimani in conspiracy against it and killings of many innocent people.
The participants were of the view that the reconciliation process was not evident, which had created difficulties for Pakistan to take any stance, but added that Pakistan should remain neutral in the escalation.
The US-Iran tension, they said, would result in increase of oil prices and possibilities of a proxy war in the Gulf region would further worsen the situation.
They viewed that as the US was trying to bring normalcy in its relations with Pakistan, the current situation would continue to test Pakistan’s various commitments with the US in context of US-Taliban peace talks. In addition, Pakistan would have to maintain a strategic balance between Saudi Arabia and Iran.
They said the US wanted its complete foothold in the Middle-East and would continue using such proxy war tactics. Moreover, the Arab world was divided and polarized, they said, adding that the developing scenario could also provoke the US to target more Iranian interests in the region.
The US was trying to give an impression that Iran was a close ally of Russia which could be a threat for the US and Saudi Arabia as well, the participants said and added that it was need of the hour that global powers must use their influence to deescalate the situation.
They said China had offered military assistance to Iraq and Russia was already involved in Syria and Iraq, adding that the US was losing her global allies and was now isolated in the international arena.
Amongst the Muslim countries in Middle-east, only Iran had the capable potential to fight against the US, the said and added that Qasem Soleimani’s assassination was the violation of international law and violation of Iraq’s territorial sovereignty.