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S. Arabia assured of support

Updated Jan 08, 2016 10:22am


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ISLAMABAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir shaking hands with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before their meeting at the PM House.—INP
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir shaking hands with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif before their meeting at the PM House.—INP

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan reaffirmed on Thursday its support to Saudi Arabia, which is embroiled in a tense standoff with Iran, and the counter-terrorism coalition that it (Riyadh) was setting up.

The reiteration of support for the Saudi government was made during a shortened visit by Saudi Foreign Minister Dr Adel Al-Jubeir to Islamabad for discussions on his country’s diplomatic row with Iran and the multinational coalition against terrorism it (Saudi Arabia) had announced.

“People of Pakistan held the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in high esteem and also had deep respect for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. … (they) will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty,” PM Sharif told FM Jubeir, while assuring him of Pakistan’s unconditional support.

Additionally, a media statement said the two sides discussed regional and global issues of common concern and agreed on promoting multi-faceted cooperation.

Foreign Minister Jubeir holds talks with Sharif, army chief

The Saudi foreign minister started his whirlwind tour of Islamabad with a meeting with Army Chief Gen Raheel Sharif at GHQ and then visited Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif at his residence before concluding the trip with a meeting with Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz.

Mr Jubeir, who led a 17-member delegation, stayed in Islamabad for a little over six hours. His trip was officially described as a ‘working visit’.

He was to originally visit Islamabad on Sunday, but postponed it at the eleventh hour due to the storming of Saudi embassy in Tehran by protesters agitating against the execution of Saudi dissident Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr.

As the Saudi foreign minister landed in Islamabad, protesters from various religious parties held a protest demonstration in the federal capital’s D-Chowk against Pakistan’s decision to join the Saudi-led coalition and execution of Sheikh Nimr.

The Foreign Office cancelled a planned joint press conference by Mr Aziz and Mr Jubeir to avoid possible media questions over the recent regional developments involving Saudi Arabia.

A statement issued by the Foreign Office said that Mr Jubeir talked about tensions with Iran during his meetings.

Pakistan, which had already con­demned the Saudi embassy incident, went a step further by noting it “believes in respect for international norms and adherence to non-interference”.

Counter-terrorism coalition

Besides the tensions with Iran, the Saudi foreign minister was said to have briefed Prime Minister Sharif on details of the counter-terrorism coalition.

Saudi Arabia had last month announced that it was establishing a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism. The government at the time of announcement of the coalition, in which Pakistan had been included, conceded that it did not know much about the group, but still agreed to join it. It was also said that the extent of involvement in the activities would be decided after Riyadh shared the details.

Speaking to Mr Jubeir, Mr Sharif said: “Pakistan welcomes Saudi Arabia’s initiative and supports all such regional and international efforts to counter terrorism and extremism.”

During the delegation-level meeting the two sides led by the respective foreign ministers, agreed on engaging the clergy for formulating a narrative against extremism and terrorism.

Published in Dawn, January 8th, 2016


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Comments (175) Closed

M. Saeed Awan Jan 08, 2016 07:20am

The support should only be on diplomatic front. Otherwise we will be in trouble again.

Farhan Jan 08, 2016 07:26am

Take the nation into confidence before committing any support. We have Afghan, ZarbAZab, CPEC, Karachi, Baluchistan and Pathankot mess to handle.

Muzaffar Ali Jan 08, 2016 07:35am

The 64 dollar question is did we agree to send troops to fight Iran and Russia or to fight with Iran and Russia against ISIS?

To give support is one thing to agree to send troops is a different matter.

Muzaffar Ali Jan 08, 2016 07:35am

To give support is one thing to agree to send troops is a different matter.

Mustapha Kamal Pasha Jan 08, 2016 07:52am

Pakistan must maintain its neutrality in this Saudi-Iran quagmire. No one would give an assurance that Pakistan will not get sucked in in this street brawl between two kids.

Sikander Jan 08, 2016 07:54am

Let us keep out. Let us put our house in order.

Raja Jan 08, 2016 07:56am

Good, Pakistan should definitely fight terrorism with allies. USA has a habit of betraying. Saudi and Arabs are reliable friends and in matters of terrorism everyone should join. (Terrorists should not be differentiated as black and whites or persian, english or arabs. Terrorists are terrorists)

Syed Husain Jan 08, 2016 07:59am

Let Iran and Saudi Arabia sort out their own problems instead of other Muslim countries getting sucked into it. Therefore, absolutely no troops need to be sent anywhere and no need to support anyone on the diplomatic front. If any thing, Pakistan should be a peace maker between the two countries.

Malish khan Jan 08, 2016 08:00am

We can expect surprise from our left.

Haroon Jan 08, 2016 08:02am

Our One million workforce is employed in Saudia Arabia alone. If one person is supporting one family of 5 then imagine around 5 million (50 Lakh) people are living a life in Pakistan through One Arabic land alone. We should protect our interests. The middle east is our largest resource of foreign inflows through our migrants. If Middle east needs our support then there is nothing wrong in it. Afterall they are our largest employers in the world. We do not have any financial interests with Iran. Our inclination should be towards Middle east because of Financial and strategic interests.

Sami Jan 08, 2016 08:18am

@Muzaffar Fight Russia? That is insane to even think about. We should not send a single soldier to fight anyone.

Ahmed Jan 08, 2016 08:22am

Our analysts and foreign relation experts always emphasise that our national interest should always be prioritised while taking decisions regarding foreign affairs. In this case Pakistan should side with Saudia Arabia as its receives billions of dollars in remittances annually with huge number of our nationals working in Saudia Arabia,it's the third largest trading partner after EU and USA.Last but not the least free oil or oil on deffered payments as in case of nuclear tests.On the other hand we have Iran who always supports our eastern Neighbor and what we get from Iran is insurgency in Baluchistan.Iran even refuses to import our citrus and rice. So should we to prioritize our national interests in this case. We expect our "intellectuals" to guide us about our national interest

Khurram Jan 08, 2016 08:33am

So, we have taken a side now. We are already part of coalition that excludes Iran.

Maverik Jan 08, 2016 08:33am

What are the details janab-e-wala? We need details of this coalition and Pakistan's role in it? We will not send Pak army outside of Pakistan's borders. Saudis should clear their own mess. We have our plates full.

Karachi Wala Jan 08, 2016 08:34am

Pakistan should offer conditional support to Saudis and Iran both.

Sam Malone2 Jan 08, 2016 08:35am

Pakistanis: You picked the horse that would lose. Iranians do not depend on mercenaries to fight. The Saudis depended on Americans all this time and will now employ your soldiers.

Changez_Khan Jan 08, 2016 08:38am

I do not think this agreement is to send Pakistani troops to Yemen or somewhere else, I believe Pakistan has assured KSA unconditional support to its territorial integrity and sovereignty, you should read the news carefully before start the guessing games. Here is the quote from PM Nawaz, read carefully:

“People of Pakistan held the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in high esteem and also had deep respect for the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. … (they) will always stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty,”.

mohammed Jan 08, 2016 08:43am

first step in right direction after long time

hakeem Jan 08, 2016 08:48am

@Muzaffar Ali, it all depend how far Iran wants to go to exerts its influence.

Alsopso Jan 08, 2016 08:52am

Pakistan should cut off all ties with Iran

hakeem Jan 08, 2016 08:53am

@Muzaffar Ali , Iran is using isis card to deflect attention from its own mischief.

Adnan Anwar Jan 08, 2016 08:54am

What a disaster foreign Policy of Pakistan under Nawaz administration.

divend Jan 08, 2016 08:54am

I agree with the government's position. While both Iran and Saudi Arabia are wrong here, only one has unconditionally supported Pakistan and deserves Pakistan's support.

kabeer ahmed Jan 08, 2016 08:55am

Good and how it should be done. support saudia arabia. Definitely there is some hiding of facts between US-Iran deals. Is it for nuclear only? NO i don't think so. as soon as US-Iran deal finalized they are out and found wanting during many recent occasions ranging from Iran involvement in sectarian issues and engaging in many other fronts.

kabeer ahmed Jan 08, 2016 08:55am

Did any one ask from Iran whay they closed borders fro their eternal brothers Syria?

Ahmed USA Jan 08, 2016 08:56am

Pakistan support to Saudi Arabia is essential to maintain peace in the region... We are just reciprocating their “unconditional support” that through the years they have provided to us… be it political or financial… On the other hand, Pakistan has no enmity with Iran... Pakistan is perhaps the only country where Sunnis and Shias enjoy harmonious relationship with each other... Here nobody cares which sects one belongs to...

Observer Jan 08, 2016 09:05am

Pakistan should be wary despite sharifs personal relation with Al Saud. The simple fact, current Saudi govt is highly volatile and unpredictable. It's Pakistan's job to guide Saudi Arabia, rather than follow in their tracks.

bryan Jan 08, 2016 09:07am

Taking sides would be a long term mistake.

Harsh Jan 08, 2016 09:11am

What has Saudi does for Pakistan? Have they ever helped?

KA Jan 08, 2016 09:12am

Money talks.

Sunil Jan 08, 2016 09:14am

@Alsopso Cutting off ties with Iran, Pakistan is going to have another enemy, next door.

Sunil Jan 08, 2016 09:15am

Better to stay neutral in all aspects.

Ayub Jan 08, 2016 09:16am

Saudi Arab has always helped Pakistan in odd hours. Iran has also been very cordial to Pakistan in relations. Both are Muslim countries with different sects. Pakistan is inhabited by mix population of Sunni and Shias. Although majority are Sunni but Pakistan can not afford to offend its shia population. In the circumstances it will be very hard for Pakistan to prefer one over the other. The best way is to act as mediator between the two and bring them at negotiable table to resolve their difference peacefully.

Fahad Jan 08, 2016 09:17am

We support saudia and then iran will be highly against us. Iran is definitely a far better military then any of these arabs and they are our neighbors . With pro indian govt in afghanistan and increasing indian influence there if we mess up with iran pakistan will be left with no strategic depth against india. We will be having not so friendly states on our east and west. Pakistan should take a stand this time. saudis are not fighting holy war they are fighting sectarian war

AW Jan 08, 2016 09:18am

"Unconditional Support" - Why? No doubt that we have deep ties with the KSA which should continue, but we must have a foreign policy which is wise and pragmatic in terms of our own geopolitical realities. Iran is our neighbor as well as our natural trade and defense partner with many cultural commonalities, therefore excellent bilateral relationship with Iran is critical for us. Our National interests are better served if we equally maintain excellent relationship with both KSA and Iran without taking sides in their political disputes.

Waqas Jan 08, 2016 09:18am

People who are criticizing Pakistan and Saudi Arabia relation must have to remember despite the pressure from the United States and his allies Saudi's fully support Pakistan's nuclear program not only on diplomatic front but also financially too. At that time where was Iran and Russia all they were in the Indian group so please make sure to see the background that with whom we are dealing with.

MN Jan 08, 2016 09:24am

Pakistan armed forces are not for hire. Pakistan should not get involved in any conflict, especially ME. We are to solve our own problems first and then clean "brothers" mess.

Riaz Jan 08, 2016 09:24am

Pakistan should serve ties with KSA until democracy is introduced. Rights of minorities are not suppressed. Justice is available to all equally.

Justice Jan 08, 2016 09:26am

Don't spread hate in Pakistan between Shia and Sunni, Pakistani have unconditional support for Iran and Saudi. It might be Nawaz Sharif's personal view for unconditional support,

Naureen Jan 08, 2016 09:30am

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.

sachin Jan 08, 2016 09:30am

Talk about "Rock and a Hard Place"....

KR Jan 08, 2016 09:31am

Irani and Saudi so called leaders should grow up and stop dragging the rest of the area in the inferno they created in Iraq , Syria and Yemen , diabolically all to the benefit of Israel.

SYR Jan 08, 2016 09:38am

well done Sharif sahib....

hussain684 Jan 08, 2016 09:40am

@Alsopso Kiyoon???Is it must that we have bad relations with all neighbors?? Sense must prevail. What Iran has done to you, Saudia has done more worse. Get out of sectarianism and look to your regional and national interests

From USA S.A. HYDER, Ph.D. Jan 08, 2016 09:42am

@KA And especially when the money is going into the coffers of the people making the decisions.

Pray&Prey Jan 08, 2016 09:45am

@bryan ; Pak HAS taken sides and this will create new animosities. No more NG from Iran for Pakistan! forget the gas pipeline.Of course you have TAPI and don't care for Irani gas, right?

Pray&Prey Jan 08, 2016 09:46am

@sachin : And.. Pakistan has chosen a side! Very foolish, I say!

Hasan Siftain Jan 08, 2016 09:50am

What Iran did is against international norms and akin to interfering in domestic matters of another country which is condemnable. having said that, Pakistan should avoid being party in this conflict, Politician have to discover middle way keeping both sides happy

umair Jan 08, 2016 09:52am

Good decision to Mr Prime Minister

N K Ali Jan 08, 2016 09:53am

No more anti-Muslim co-operation anywhere in the world. No more support for Muslim vs. Muslim. Only progressive friendship and partnerships, with Iran, RSA, Kuwait, Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, Indonesia, Libya, Lebanon, and wherever Muslims are. Yes, no more intrigues and only brotherhood. LOOK AFTER YOUR OWN BACKYARD FIRST IN PAKISTAN. Salams

wellwisher Jan 08, 2016 09:59am

why should Pakistan bother with a soon to be bankrupt country

saz Jan 08, 2016 09:59am

How can Pakistan's Govt give unconditional support to Saudi Govt with out discussing this matter in detail with all opposition parties and with out including the opinion of rejection of a huge community residing in Pakistan..

How can Mr. Nawaz Sharif talk about interference when those whom he is assuring are constantly interfering in Yemen, Syria, Iraq Lebanon, Behrain etc. It seems he is keeping a blind eye and acting as per his knee jerk response.

saz Jan 08, 2016 10:01am

@Ayub what odd situations whe Saudia helped. Name any if there is?

logic Jan 08, 2016 10:10am

Pakistan has great respect for S Arabia. Because they are custodians of two mosques.. Excellent

SANJEEV KUMAR YADAV Jan 08, 2016 10:13am

Yes Sir!

Muslim Jan 08, 2016 10:13am

No. We the people of Pakistan cannot support tyrants. Saudis treat Pakistanis as slaves. Sorry no support from Pakistan.

Islam Jan 08, 2016 10:17am

@Ayub Best comments

Abbas Naqvi Jan 08, 2016 10:21am

Pakistans unconditional support for Saudi Arabia is no surprise given the the two countries deeply rooted, time tested and stretegic relations. However, Islamabd should not put all eggs in one basket. There is a need to weigh and take a measured step with regard to the deepening diplomatic row between Riyadh and Tehran. Islamabad should also consider playing some sort of mediatory role to deescalate tensions between the two major regional players. Pakistans relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia are equally important and call for an appropriate and balanced diplomatic approach.

Mustafa Jan 08, 2016 10:22am

Pakistan will "stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty". In this case no real threat to "territorial integrity and sovereignty" therefore the message is, you are on your own. Very diplomatic, very timely, well done! For once I am a fan of the sharifs, or whoever is pulling their strings.

Sudhanshu Swami Jan 08, 2016 10:25am

Pakistani leaders should come to India to learn how to maintain balance in international politics.

Muhammad Jan 08, 2016 10:25am

Pakistan should play an active role to bring all Muslim countries closer including Saudi Arab and Iran first of all Pakistan should start an aggressive diplomatic campaign to revive OIC and all issues regarding Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Nigeria and Afghanistan should be discussed and their peaceful solutions must be sought this is the only way forward otherwise complete disaster is waiting for all Muslim countries supper powers are planning to fight third world war in the Middle East then no shia and no sunni, no Arab and non-Arab will be spared look at plight of Syrian people they all are suffering irrespective of their sect and religion

watson Jan 08, 2016 10:29am

PM NS should have told him in the eye that Pakistan needs to stay neutral because of its geopolitical location,he should have offered to mediate and that`s it.The army has tried to cut sharply on the prevailing terror and Pakistan does not need any other form of tension or terrorism knocking on its borders.

AD Jan 08, 2016 10:38am

Unconditional Support?? A total political move by Pakistan. No worries about harming the feeling of their own Shia population. A terrible move.

Engr. Khan Jan 08, 2016 10:38am

Unconditional support to Saudi Arabia by the PM is the need of hour

mirestan Jan 08, 2016 10:40am

Taking any side will be destruction of Pakistan. Stay neutral the best option.

Mujib Ahmed Jan 08, 2016 10:45am

Saudi Arabia is the trouble maker. They are capable of doing anything to save their monarchy. Iran is Pakistan's neighbor with tremendous commonalities including saqafut, language history and ethnicity. We have nothing in common except religion which btw is not owned by the Saudi's. Pakistan needs to keep the Saudi's distant. Here is an article worth reading.

Abbot Jan 08, 2016 10:50am

Pakistan should have unconditional support at all level for Saudi Arabia including sending Pakistani Military and all available assets.

mabbassi Jan 08, 2016 10:52am

iran is extremely isolated with only iraq favouring it which itself is a broken country on the other hand our saudi brothers have support of all muslims countries from indonesia, malaysia to morocco, sudan, egypt, etc. It is not a difficult for pakistan. we dont want to be rejected by the whole world, we need to be with the rest of muslim countries. Iran was a peaceful place before the revolution. and majority of iranians living in iran dislike the new regime.

Sajjad Khan Jan 08, 2016 10:53am

It proves that this man has no idea of running a country. He is lending unconditional support to a kingdom with terrible human records to safe guard his investments there, nothing else.

Justice Jan 08, 2016 10:56am

Can it ever be other way around?

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Jan 08, 2016 11:07am

No body should get an unconditional support except Pakistani people. Only Pakistan's interest & security comes first. Saudi King wants boots on the ground and Pakistanis are best army they looking for. Sorry Your Majesty our boys are not for sale & do not try to buy our army through your friends. We are watching.

Asghar Jan 08, 2016 11:09am

Taking sides would be disastrous for Pakistan. Pakistan must stay neutral and should play role of mediator between the two. Unfortunately I am afraid our wise leadership will be blinded by the glitter of dollar and will commit the blunder of becoming a party in this mess

Nizamuddin Ahmad Aali Jan 08, 2016 11:09am

Mr. P.M. Sharif: KSA is looking for domination and there is no security issue. We should not entertain KSA on this issue.

Kala Ingrez - کالا انگریز - काला अंग्रेज - কালো ইংরাজি Jan 08, 2016 11:14am

Right move, Pakistan. Pakistan should send these Iranians a strong message to not interfere in Pakistani affairs and recruit from Pakistan soldiers to fight dirty war in Middle East. All Iranian run and supported institutions and charities should be investigated to make sure no revenge attack or terrorist activities are being planned. We should also tell our Saudi Partners that Peace is better than war - let's give peace a chance.

Fawzia Jan 08, 2016 11:17am

@Naureen no Muslim can take the blood of another Muslim

malika Jan 08, 2016 11:17am

What will happen to the gas pipeline project with IRAN now? Will it stop?

Aman Jan 08, 2016 11:17am

Policy making enemy almost around all borders..Iran,Afghanistan..India...!! Don't understand why Pakistan always make close ties with country far always and make enemy with country with whom it share border and cultural ties ???

bakht Jan 08, 2016 11:17am

Stay out of this mess. No boots on the ground!

Muad'Dib Jan 08, 2016 11:21am

Pakistan should not give in to KSA's aim of making this issue sectarian. This is not a sectarian issue - there is a minority grp in KSA who are asking for their rights.

Muhammad Jan 08, 2016 11:25am

@Engr. Khan Unconditional Support means to encourage our friends to not change their policies in the region there is no unconditional support Pakistan being a nuclear power and big Muslims country must realize all the parties of conflicts to settle their issues amicably Mr. Khan it take two hands to clap if there is a problem then it should be dealt carefully and wisely Unity of Muslim Ummah is supreme without taking into consideration any other thing remember sincere friends are those who tell their friends what they are doing wrong and to rectify the same

Avijit Roy Jan 08, 2016 11:29am

The Saudi FM first met the COAS, then met the PM ! That's strange !

Zak Jan 08, 2016 11:29am

"The government at the time of announcement of the coalition, in which Pakistan had been included, conceded that it did not know much about the group, but still agreed to join it."

How can the government commit to a group with out knowing what it entails. Signs of an incompetent government and leadership.

Pakistan needs to step up and become the diffuser of the iran- Saudi tensions. It has the status and power to play the role. Question is, is the leadership up to it.

Feroz Jan 08, 2016 11:30am

Has anybody dared to ask the Saudi FM what are the tasks the anti terrorism coalition set up by it, will perform. If an anti terrorism coalition has been set up, why were IRAQ and Syria the two states suffering heavily from terrorism, not been included. It is clear as daylight that Pakistan has thrown in its weight behind Saudi Arabia even though Parliament has proposed neutrality. What deal has been worked out behind doors, will never be placed on the floor of Parliament for approval. The citizen will never learn the Truth,

wizarat Jan 08, 2016 11:31am

Staying neutral in Ajami and Arabi fight would be the prudent thing to do. But heck how can I expect that from Mian Sahib?

Jinnah Jan 08, 2016 11:34am

This act of PM Sharif to support Saudi Arabia will strain the relationship and co-existence between the Shia and Sunni communities in Pakistan

jawad Jan 08, 2016 11:37am

The Sharif government is going soon like in 1999. Saudi Arabia not Pakistan;s neighbor Iran is. Pakistan is getting gas pile line from iran not saudi who treat us like second class

Rehan Jan 08, 2016 11:57am

We should have stayed neutral. When will we learn!

gknatarajan Jan 08, 2016 12:01pm

since pakisthan is alreadyhaving sectarian militancy problem at home, giving such unconditional support to S.A. is strange! likely to disturb peace within pak!!??

Awais Jan 08, 2016 12:07pm

@Alsopso are u kidding right !! Iran is our Neighbour, we need to stay neutral

Tsriq Jan 08, 2016 12:07pm

Sounds more like NS personal agenda

Khanm Jan 08, 2016 12:14pm

Unconditional support has a wide has been used for a reason..I think the senate and assembly should demand a clarification..we should not deal with amiguity.

Fitemoo Jan 08, 2016 12:16pm

@Alsopso Why? What has Iran done to Pakistan? In the same token has SA broken ties with India? Or did they break off ties with Bangladesh back in 1971?

Kabeer Jan 08, 2016 12:30pm

@kabeer ahmed If only you have the information regarding then you should ask the Iranian directly

Zafar Ahmed Jan 08, 2016 12:31pm

Pakistan should keep distance from a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism and not to join them , in any case.

Irfan Ahmed Jan 08, 2016 12:33pm

Internal security and inter sectarian harmony is the most crucial national interest agenda at present in Pakistan . Increasing intolerance throughout world has endangered world peace. Governemnts through out the world are carving out strategies to tackle growing religious intolerance. Pakistan should look into future and avoid sectarian devide inside it's borders.

raja Jan 08, 2016 12:42pm

@Ayub how do you act as mediator when u have offered unconditional support to one of the parts you are support to mediate between Einstein?

Joe Jan 08, 2016 12:44pm

@Avijit Roy Nothing strange in that. Only Modi is foreign politician who did meet COAS while visiting Pakistan.

Rish Jan 08, 2016 12:52pm

Good choice of words by the PM / Foreign Office.

MrA2Z Jan 08, 2016 12:59pm

Pakistanis will pay the price for friendship of elites!

A citizen. Jan 08, 2016 01:08pm

Had Saudi's been a penniless nation would the 34 countries still support them. All this is simply politics, nothing to do with religion, nothing to do with principles, nothing to do with being "brotherly".

Justwasif Jan 08, 2016 01:18pm

So the we will bear the consequences of wrong doing of Saudi Arabia

Justwasif Jan 08, 2016 01:19pm

What kind of support?

Shahzad S Iqbal Jan 08, 2016 01:20pm

There are 5 major flash points in the Muslim World of today – Syria, Yemen, Iran – Saudi Relations, ISIL & other terrorist groups (in Africa, Middle East & West Asia). Pakistan is perhaps the only Muslim country that can take a lead in diplomatic initiatives for resolution of all of these issues and it must play a central role in doing so. PM Sharif along with Foreign Office Team should initiate a concerted effort towards this effect immediately.

Secular Pathan Jan 08, 2016 01:25pm

But we want to be a Secular Liberal Democratic Welfare State of Pakistan. We dont want to become another KSA or Iran.

ak Jan 08, 2016 01:29pm

For a non Muslim, it is really tough to understand the dynamics of this vexed issue. Pakistan is obviously very close to SA but it also shares a massive border with Iran. Moreover, Pakistan has no disputes or enmity with Iran and in fact could technically replace SA with Iran for its oil needs. Also, Pakistan itself has a massive Shia minority of its own.

Iran and SA should try to get close. That's the only real long term solution.

Pakistan First Jan 08, 2016 01:36pm

Pakistan should come out with best of its foreign Policy because we can't ignore Iran also as our next door neighbor. Ties with Iran are more important as Iran has got many option specially it could get more closer to India and deep rooted it's influence in Afghanistan. Besides all this Pakistan would not want its third neighbor to be in animosity with. A sensible policy with lesser of emotion and inclination towards anyone will be the need of time, hope our government could come out with some better arrangements and act as catalyst to neutralized the tense situation. Pakistan must be First.

faryal Jan 08, 2016 01:39pm

its time to help only ones and it may be depend on Pakistan's future planing.

Kabeer Jan 08, 2016 01:49pm

@hakeem "Iran is using isis card to deflect attention from its own mischief" you mean that Iran asked the Arab Monarchs and Turkey to form and support ISIS in the region and play havoc with Arab population whether in Syria, Iraq or Libya very amazing comments international think tank should revisit their opinions according to your latest revelations

Dev Jan 08, 2016 01:57pm

One third of the issues happening in Pakistan are a result of its relations with Saudi Arabia, another one third can be blamed on USA and the rest one third can be blamed on the politicians of Pakistan. But Pakistan usually blames India for all its issues, what a paradox!!.

A Pakistani Jan 08, 2016 02:03pm

So what exactly is Pakistan's contribution as an "important" member of the OIC?

And because of its geographical location what is Nawaz Sharif government doing to resolve this crisis? Does the government realise that it is not dealing with IK or Dr.TQ . It will be held to account for the committments it makes on behalf of the Pakistani nation?

Adeel Jan 08, 2016 02:07pm

We should offer to host an emergency summit in Islamabad bringing Saudia and Iran together. We can only offer to help, Saudia and Iran need to sort their differences out themselves.

k k tiwari Jan 08, 2016 02:11pm

It was expected , & now wait Iran reaction

Haider Jan 08, 2016 02:24pm

@jawad...there are 1.5 million' second class' Pakistanis in saudi many in our great neighbour iran? Intrestingly only 18000! That says it all.

Haider Jan 08, 2016 02:27pm

@AD ..why would the pakistani shias be hurt by this? They are pakistanis only and have nothing to do with anyother country! Please dont use sectarian.language for pakistani shias.

Haider Jan 08, 2016 02:29pm

@Sudhanshu Swami.. is the pathan kot siege over?

naveed Jan 08, 2016 02:30pm

@Karachi Wala wow,what a great suggestion,you mean we tell them we will support who appears to be the winner

naveed Jan 08, 2016 02:31pm

@M. Saeed Awan i hope you dont curse the Saudis when they stay neutral in away row with India

Khwarezmi Jan 08, 2016 02:37pm

Did Pakistan have any other option after having said a big no to the war in Yemen? We have strategic interests in Saudi-Arabia with 2 million Pakistani workers and our holy land.

Pakistan First Jan 08, 2016 02:39pm

We all know Pakistan could not say NO to KSA for so many apparent and hidden reasons but still people of Pakistan wish that Pakistan should come out with best of its foreign Policy because we can't ignore Iran also as our next door neighbor. Ties with Iran are more important as Iran has got many option specially it could get more closer to India and deep rooted it's influence in Afghanistan. Besides all this Pakistan would not want its third neighbor to be in animosity with. A sensible policy with lesser of emotion and inclination towards anyone will be the need of time, hope our government could come out with some better arrangements and act as catalyst to neutralize the tense situation. Think of Pakistan First.

Taimoor Khan Jan 08, 2016 03:18pm

Both Ayatullah Khamenaie and King Salueman need to be summoned to Islamabad, lock them inside a room with Key being held by Raheel Shareef, not allowed to leave without an agreement is reached. Enough of this Shia-Sunni non sense. These two already have done enough damage to Ummah, effects of which will last for a decade.

Syed Sharfuddin Jan 08, 2016 03:20pm

So far so good. Pakistan should be careful in choosing it's words lest these be misunderstood by either side as taking sides in an unfortunate Shia Sunni and Arab and non Arab confrontation. However it is sad that Pakistan made no effort through active diplomatic efforts to play a facilitating role in cooling down temperatures. The fact that Foreign Office did not hold a press conference with the visiting FM shows the sensitivity attached to the so called unilateral Saudi initiative about a Muslim coalition against terrorism. Where was this coalition when Pakistan was counting its losses.

Mahmood Jan 08, 2016 03:22pm

NS, please do not pledge any support to the Saudis in my name.

I'm a taxpayer, and patriotic citizen of Pakistan. But want no part in any dispute between Iran and Saudis, which could involve sacrificing Pakistani blood. We need peace and stability in the Muslim world, not wider conflicts.

Long View Jan 08, 2016 03:37pm

@Riaz what a logic! we should cut relations with China too - until democracy is restored....

Goga Nalaik Jan 08, 2016 03:52pm

Yemen is being bombarded by the saudis for more than 6 months and thousands and thousands of civilians killed and the whole world seems okay with it ???

By supporting Saudia against Iran means we may have grave sectarian problems in our country...

Jatt Jan 08, 2016 04:05pm

@Karachi Wala True to an extent but we must remember that Iran has been hostile to Pakistan for the last 35 years since the change of Irans government. The previous Shah of Iran was a wise and good ruler but has been replaced by fanatical regime. Just shows that replacing a monarchy is not always good.

M. Asghar Jan 08, 2016 04:06pm

Pakistan must play just an active mediation role in the Iran-SA dispute knowing that SA has been and is the source of the mayhem in the region.

Jatt Jan 08, 2016 04:07pm

@Ayub Why do you think that the shais will support Iran against our national interest, Iran has been very hostile to Pakistan and I think Pakistani shias are mature enough to know that Iran is led by very bad people.

Jatt Jan 08, 2016 04:09pm

@Mujib Ahmed All true about Iran except that in the last 35 years iranians have ignored there own history, saqafat and lifestyle and embraced a fanatical cult thereby reducing ties to common Pakistanis to zero.

lafanga Jan 08, 2016 04:13pm

It's a tricky situation for Nawaz Sharif. Traditionally we have been very close to the Saudis so naturally we will give them full support IF their territory is under direct threat from anywhere but this is not the case. We can't just break diplomatic ties with Iran just because Saudis have done it. We share border with Iran and it's a power in the ME whether Saudis like it or not.

So for now, NS will have to give lip service to both the Saudis and Iran. He needs a full time and shrewd FM. Come one Mr Sharif. Appoint one.

Harish Jan 08, 2016 04:25pm

Good time for india to stand by its ally Iran and provide support....

Nauman Raza Jan 08, 2016 04:33pm

I think Government of Pakistan should avoid back door diplomacy, everything should be on board and with proper consensus of Parliament.

Marvi Jan 08, 2016 04:51pm

Jumping into others wars has costed us dearly, doing so again will be disastrous.

Iftikhar Husain Jan 08, 2016 05:08pm

This is a weak point of selecting some countries and leaving others out of coalition. This is not fair on part of SA who should lead in the unity of Islam.

ukumar Jan 08, 2016 05:17pm

@Fahad Well said. Saudi is there only to protect Saudi dynasty It was worst human right record and there is no democracy. They have petro money. Why should Pakistan support such a regime?

ukumar Jan 08, 2016 05:21pm

@Mujib Ahmed You have made an accurate observation. There are more that binds Pakistan with Iran then Saudi Arabia.Religion is important but can not replace other bonds.

S. A. M. Jan 08, 2016 05:30pm

@kabeer ahmed Dear Friend after reading your comment I thought that Iran and Syria don't share any border between them but before making the comment I checked the map of Syria and found that Syria and Iran are not neighbours so there is no question of Iran closing its border with Syria. perhaps you could also have checked the geographics before making the comment.

Sarwat Jan 08, 2016 05:31pm

Well I have no confidence in the present government. They will and at any time sell Pakistan for personal gains. They have done it in the past and will do it again.

ukumar Jan 08, 2016 05:32pm

@Justice Keep national and personal interests separate. National interest should trump every thing.

S. A. M. Jan 08, 2016 05:32pm

@Fahad I totally agree with you. besides we already have lost east Pakistan and there is so much unrest in Baluchistan and other parts of the country we should focus on keeping our house in order.

S. A. M. Jan 08, 2016 05:34pm

you never know Iran may join hands with usa and Israel. what will then Saudi and 34 state coalition will do. it's a war for survival and in that everything is legitimate

Mahmood Jan 08, 2016 05:51pm

@S. A. M. You need to read up on history.

KSA and USA have a defense pact. U.S will never side with Iran against the Saudis. It's illogical.

S. A. M. Jan 08, 2016 06:32pm

@Mahmood there is no promise or oath that cannot be broken specially in the world of international politics. there are no permanent friends or foes. what remains permanent is safeguarding of interest. have not you heard that an intelligent person is never faithful.

Rauf Ahmad Jan 08, 2016 07:04pm

Does the visiting Prince know how Pakistani are treated in the Kingdom?

S. A. M. Jan 08, 2016 07:05pm

those that cannot defend themselves no one else can.

Zen Jan 08, 2016 07:08pm

@Zak: That is what a regional power does best.

nd Jan 08, 2016 07:09pm

Saudi's have created conflicts just to protect al-Saud family's hold on power. Pakistan should not get involve in their foolish endeavors

Muzaffar Ali Jan 08, 2016 07:09pm

@S. A. M. You wrote, with which I agree 100%

"those that cannot defend themselves no one else can."

Muzaffar Ali Jan 08, 2016 07:12pm

Remember the famous quote:

"No one is coming!"

Each need to work for our own security and uplift.

majid Jan 08, 2016 07:19pm

We are enjoying this respect only because of Pakistan Army which under the leadership of Raheel Sharif has proved its mettle, by pushing out a monstrous menace like TTP from Pakistan. However one thing should be crystal clear that Pakistan should not take sides and should remain absolutely neutral..

Lakhkar Khan Jan 08, 2016 07:31pm

Just remember, NO military support at all. Get it?

Sam Jan 08, 2016 07:37pm

@Mustapha Kamal Pasha it is no street fight it is war which the west wants the Muslims to fight. It is well planned and being implemented.

Goodhopes Jan 08, 2016 07:39pm

Our politician do not have the brains to understand the consequences of giving such irresponsible statements when we ourselves are struggling with a insurgency and borders tensions with India. We cannot nose dive into a mess that we cannot solve or resolve through military means, diplomacy is the only way out of this quagmire provided concerned parties are willing to talk.

IFTIKHAR KHAN Jan 08, 2016 07:40pm

We are providing unconditional support as thanks to all the mayhem and mischief Saud family has caused us in the name of help.

Shaziah Zuberi- Washington DC Jan 08, 2016 07:45pm

Saudi Arabia is not a force of stability in the Middle East if we see them objectively. Pakistan's support for them should only be based on our strategic interests and not be unconditional.

Itihad Jan 08, 2016 07:49pm

Nations are not build up on money donated but stand on firm foundations. Pakistan and Arab nations stand for Muslims and their religion. Saudia Arabia should have been a driving force to unite whole Ummah with peace. It is no more a country of peace but involved in aggression. Pakistan can never fight with own people for long. Even if Pakistan sides with Saudi Arabia, it would add more enemies with hostile neighbor. Pl. have sense and work for unity not for internal disputes.

haris Jan 08, 2016 08:01pm

@Haroon and there are 180m living inside the country. What about them?

N_Saq Jan 08, 2016 08:36pm

Pak stance is correct and the govt did the right thing i.e. Pak will fully protect the territorial integrity of KSA if hostilities break out.

Here Pak does not have an option to remain neutral. The govt and the Army did a great job in protecting Pak interest both in Iran and the Arab world by making it very clear to Iran that Pak will protect KSA so that Iran knows the limits of its outrage. At the same time Pak let KSA know that, if threatened, Pak is only committed to protecting its territory and did not give KSA a blank check so that KSA does not carry any misadventure.

Agha Ata Jan 08, 2016 09:02pm

Nice job. Now we have unfriendly neighbors on all three sides. :)

Ali Jan 08, 2016 09:08pm

Pakistan is the strongest Muslim country in the world with nuclear weapons. Yet, it has suffered 100 billion dollar economic loss and 60,000 Pakistanis killed due to terrorism. Therefore, Pakistan should have been the world leader against terrorism.

Our government failed to lead, legislate tough anti-terrorism laws and prosecute terrorists. This is a global war, so any other country which forms anti-terrorism coalition is welcomed and we fully support it. A terrorist should not be determined by any religion, caste or creed, they are all evil.

Democracy is the best revenge Jan 08, 2016 09:16pm

This is a delicate issue. While we cannot offend Iran which is our next door neihbor, we simply cannot avoid Saudi Arabian requirement since this nation has always stood with us in difficult time. Pakistan need to walk on this tight rope very carefully.

Let's not forget that Iran on many occasion supported India rather than Pakistan. Whereas Saudi Arabian support have been unequivocal on all causes of Pakistan. The tilt of Pakistan towards Saudi Arabia is quite natural.

citizen Jan 08, 2016 09:34pm

We have no other choice..Lots of business interests (whom?) at stake !!

pakistani Jan 08, 2016 09:52pm

Pakistan; Take the side of the justice; that should be the only guideline. What happened in Iran is wrong and Iran should be given time to sort it out. But Saudi Arabia has been on a spree lately to destabilize the region in any way possible and that does not require support; it requires telling them to become sensible and mature.

pakistani Jan 08, 2016 09:55pm

The only reasons Muslims regard Saudi Arabia in high esteem is because of the sacred Islamic places. But Saudi Arabia's policies have done nothing to empower Muslims. It seriously needs to rethink its place in the Muslims community. It is in such an ideal position to help Muslims unite and work towards commendable goals but unfortunately it keeps on exploiting that position for its own petty quibbles.

pakistani Jan 08, 2016 10:00pm

Muslims have always looked up to Saudi Arabia because of them being the custodians of the great mosques. Saudi Arabia could have automatically united Muslims and acted as the impetus for their growth and empowerment by providing a principled leadership and working for the causes of Muslims.

But it didn't and hasn't. Instead it has only worked to further weaken the Muslim causes. It has failed to provide the much needed leadership that Muslims need. And for this, it needs to be taken to task and rightfully scolded. Saudi Arabia has simply failed the Muslims all over.

Faisal Jan 08, 2016 10:11pm

Pakistan has borders with China, Iran, India and Afghanistan. For the latter 2 we know the situation, if we make our relations with Iran the same, I see Pakistan sinking deeply without a doubt.

sultan ali Jan 09, 2016 01:25am

we should not get involved in another conflict or support the saudis. we are not mercenaries

SAL Jan 09, 2016 02:04am

Pakistan should be neutral.

Mohammad Fida Jan 09, 2016 06:47am

I remember that once Z.A. Bhutto had said that US is aware of the danger pakistan anticipates from North (china). This made China protest (1966) whereafter Islamabad had to clarify its position by publicly airing that Pakistan has no danger from Islamabad. So now various internal and external foes doing so about Saudi Arabia for their own exclusive reasons but again the majority people would like Pakistan be hijacked by such element. And that is what seems behind this visit too?

Changez_Khan Jan 09, 2016 08:21am

Pakistan MUST provide all-out full support to KSA.

venkat Jan 09, 2016 09:03am

It is very good on Pakistan's part to assure Saudi Arabia support in a war which is far away from it's borders.

By doing so, it is bound to antagonize China, Russia & Iran

Now Pakistan has to choose between China & Saudi Arabia + USA

Abel Jan 09, 2016 08:19pm

why is that the GOPakistan officials only met with Saudi officials? how about showing some impartiality and integrity; meet with the Iranian officials or even have a well publicized meeting with the Iranian ambassador instead of the one sided farce that is being played out in our national media. Stoking the embers of sectarian hate.

KKK Jan 10, 2016 04:15am

@Haroon It depends on the way you see it. Iran has the second highest oil reserves and the sanctions on them could be expected to lift soon. Saudi on the other hand is the root cause of extremism

Robin Akbar Jan 10, 2016 06:23am

This means we are not neutral anymore.

zahid Qadeer Jan 10, 2016 08:37am

@ Swami. Best comments from an Indian so far....

Ashfaq Jan 10, 2016 03:13pm

Instead of chasing someone else's interest or dictation, we need to come out of our ever KASHKOOL policy.Iran or Saudia whatever it is, we need to follow our own interest that would strengthen Pakistan and bring peace and harmony in our country.