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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 1/4/20

Reaction to General Soleimani's Assassination in Pakistan, and West Asia

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Message Abdus-Sattar Ghazali
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Pakistani senators have expressed concern over the fall out of tension between the US and neighboring Iran in the aftermath of killing of General Qasem Soleimani.

Senator Raza Rabbani told the Senate Friday that the America's killing of Soleimani has given rise to new tensions in the region. He said the worsening US-Iran relationship could have implications for Pakistan's national security.

Senator Sherry Rehman said the Iranian general's killing could trigger a "serious crisis-like situation" in the Middle East.

Leader of the House in the Senate Shibli Faraz told the senate that the government is "monitoring" the US-Iran tensions while also assessing the international reaction to the developments.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo reached out to Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa in the aftermath of the assassination of Iranian General Soleimani.

"Pakistan's Chief of Staff General Bajwa and I spoke today [Friday] about US defensive action to kill Qasem Soleimani," said Pompeo on Twitter, adding the "Iran regime's actions in the region are destabilizing and our resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities, and partners will not waver".

On its part, Pakistan army's media wing tweeted: "COAS received telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Regional situation including possible implications of recent escalation in Middle East was discussed," the tweet said adding: "COAS emphasized need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate the situation in broader interest of peace and stability."

The United Arab Emirates & Saudi Arabia

The United Arab Emirates, an ally of the US and Saudi Arabia in their rivalry against Tehran, was the first Arabian Gulf nation to react on Soleimani's assassination.

The UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash called for "wisdom and moderation" rather than "confrontation and escalation." "Rational engagement requires a calm and unemotional approach," he said.

"This is a huge escalation of an already unstable situation in the Middle East, the region cannot afford more tension," said Jaber Al Lamki, a media official with the UAE government.

"Those countries must be feeling very concerned about the potential fallout and the risk to their societies and their economies," said Vakil.

Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affair Adel Al-Jubair tweeted early Satruday: "The Kingdom's statement regarding the events in Iraq stresses the Kingdom's view of the importance of de-escalation to save the countries of the region and their people from the risks of any escalation."

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo spoke on the phone with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman about the airstrikes at Baghdad airport killing General Soleimani. They discussed measures for reducing tension in the region during the call, Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

"Both Abu Dhabi and Riyadh have watched the developments in Iraq over the weekend with great concern, fearing that Iran might respond against US forces on their territory," said Andreas Krieg of King's College London.

Iran 'will fall into the hands of the most militant and hardline elements'

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Abdus-Sattar Ghazali Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Author and journalist. Author of Islamic Pakistan: Illusions & Reality; Islam in the Post-Cold War Era; Islam & Modernism; Islam & Muslims in the Post-9/11 America. Currently working as free lance journalist. Executive Editor of American (more...)
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