EghtesadOnline: Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi appreciated Iran's preference for de-escalation of tensions in the region following a surge in violent action over the past week, which raised the specter of an all-out war.
Qureshi had met with senior Iranian officials in Tehran early this week, according to Financial Tribune.
“[The Pakistani FM] … expressed the hope that Iran would continue to act with its traditional wisdom in dealing with the issues at hand,” a statement published on Pakistan Foreign Ministry’s website said.
The situation in the region has been tense since the United States assassinated Iran’s top commander, Major General Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad and Iran retaliated by an attack on locations hosting American forces in Iraq.
Other countries have been calling on both sides to exercise restraint to prevent the eruption of a war.
Pakistan's top diplomat was in Tehran on the directions of Prime Minister Imran Khan and on the first leg of his visit to regional countries with a view to supporting efforts for defusing tensions and promoting a diplomatic way forward.
He met his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, on Monday morning following talks with President Hassan Rouhani the previous day.
According to the statement, the officials had a wide-ranging exchange of views on recent developments in the Middle East and the Persian Gulf region, as well as Tehran-Islamabad relations.
Qureshi emphasized the importance of maximum restraint and immediate steps for de-escalation by all sides.
"War was in nobody's interest and it was imperative to resolve the issues through dialogue and diplomacy," he said.
Pointing to his phone conversations with his regional counterparts, he said, "There was a general consensus in favor of immediate de-escalation and avoidance of war.”
The foreign minister reiterated that Pakistan would not allow its territory to be used against anyone; nor would Pakistan be a part of any war or conflict in the region.
"Pakistan could only be a partner for peace," he emphasized.
Qureshi said Pakistan would continue to work for peace and urge constructive engagement among all sides to advance the prospects of a diplomatic solution.
Rouhani and Zarif both stressed that Iran also preferred de-escalation of tensions and preservation of peace and stability in the region and that all sides had responsibilities in this regard.
"Iran never seeks to wage war in the region while it is completely prepared to defend its interests," Rouhani was quoted as saying by President.ir.
Iranian officials appreciated Imran Khan's efforts for reducing tensions and advancing the prospects of peace through diplomatic and political means.
On the second leg of this trip, Qureshi is visiting Saudi Arabia, before heading for the US.