Pakistan government is still trying to convince the Iranian regime to see the Saudi-led military alliance positively and join the alliance but Iranian side has always turned down Saudi kingdom as an ally of the imperialist forces led by the United States administration.
Senior officials at the foreign ministry said that Pakistan had been making efforts to persuade Iran to join the Saudi alliance. Iran, however, sees the Saudi-led coalition as an alliance of the US-allied pro-takfiri rulers with some ‘hidden agenda’ instead of the joint efforts against terrorism. Iran and Iraq, two Shia-majority countries, are not members of the alliance and so are the Sunni majority Afghanistan and Alawi-ruled Syria.
An official at the foreign ministry said that Pakistan had been trying to clarify its position and convince Iran on the genuineness of the Saudi alliance’s agenda. “We are continuing our efforts to satisfy Iran and tell them both Iran and Saudi Arabia are important for Pakistan. We are still hopeful of winning them over and making them part of the alliance,” he said.
Earlier, Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Mehdi Honardoost raised concerns over former army chief Raheel Sharif’s appointment as head of the Saudi-led military alliance.
The government issued the No-Objection Certificate to the retired General last week and he left for Riyadh soon afterwards.
Iran and Saudi Arabia have serious disagreements on regional and international issues. On the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, the two countries are poles apart.
Speaking to journalists in Islamabad recently, Ambassador Honardoost said Tehran had conveyed its concerns on General Sharif’s appointment as head of the military alliance. “This could impact the unity of the Muslims. We are naturally concerned about this issue,” he had said.
The envoy said Pakistan did contact Iranian officials before issuing the NOC to General Sharif but this “did not indicate that Iran was satisfied with this decision or it had accepted the same.”
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua said Pakistan had no tension with Iran adding the Saudi Arabia-led military alliance was not against any country but terrorism.
Janjua said there was no change of policy on relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia. “Pakistan has the same policy. We have no border issues with Iran and our border with Iran is friendly,” she said.