Nawaz Sharif: Pakistan waiting for Iran, Saudi Arabia response

Islamabad, Jan 25, IRNA – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says that Pakistan is waiting for response from Iran and Saudi Arabia regarding Islamabad meditation efforts to defuse tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

According of Radio Pakistan, talking to journalists in London, the prime minister said it was Pakistan’s desire to ease tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran and bridge the gap in their ties.

“We have taken the initiative on our own. Nobody called us to initiate it,” he made it clear.

After meeting Iran President Hassan Rouhani last Tuesday, Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan and Iran had agreed to appoint ‘focal persons’ to follow up Islamabad mediation effort to defuse tensions between Tehran and Riyadh.

He said Pakistan would appoint a focal person to carry forward discussions. “Iran has also agreed to appoint its focal person while Saudi Arabia will be requested by Pakistan to do the same.”

Meanwhile, reports say Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir has denied the existence of a Pakistani mediation between his country and Iran.

** Pakistan supports Afghanistan peace talks
Answering a question, PM Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan strongly supported an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process because stability in the region was linked to stability in Afghanistan.

He said certain terrorist elements inside Afghanistan were involved in attacks in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is strictly abiding by the agreement and neither is the Afghan government violating it,” he said, adding that Afghanistan had an elected government, armed forces and intelligence agencies and it was their responsibility to act against terrorist elements.

“Pakistan and Afghanistan are strictly following this agreement, but there are certain elements in Afghanistan who on their own are attacking Pakistan,” Mr Sharif said.

About the terrorist attack on the Pathankot airbase in India, Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan was investigating the matter and facts would be brought forward whenever investigations were over. A special team has been constituted to thoroughly investigate the incident and it would also visit India to collect further evidences.

He said the Indian prime minister had assured Pakistan of assistance in the investigation process and they were working on the right lines.