ISLAMABAD - Former interior minister Senator Rehman Malik on Sunday asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to play a role in mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran amid tensions between the Muslim-majority countries.

The senator wrote a letter to the prime minister seeking urgent response to the Saudi-Iran crisis.

“It is highly important to mention here that [the] Kingdom of Saudi Arabia being our trusted old friend and Iran too is our Muslim neighbouring country and the tension between both countries will subsequently create a wedge among Muslim world, hence, it is high time for Pakistan to take initiative to defuse the tension between the two Muslim countries,” he wrote.

The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leader, while underlining the highly significant position of Pakistan among Muslim community said: “Pakistan being a nuclear power, a frontline state fighting against terrorism and one of the largest Muslim states, which enjoys most strategic position in the region, must contribute to stop the situation to deteriorate further, particularly when it comes to the unity of the Ummah”.

Malik expressed concern that Pakistan was not given due importance at the recent summit in Riyadh – attended by the US President, Donald Trump.

He wrote: “Pakistan’s sacrifices in the War on Terror, during which Pakistan lost more than 60,000 innocent lives, suffered a monumental economic loss of more than $125 billion, unfortunately, it appears, have not been recognised by the international community.”

The senator said that the terrorist organisations including the ISIS were misusing the name of Islam and they were operating in various parts of the world including Muslim-majority countries. He said that the ISIS was a replica of al-Qaeda, which had extended its domain from the Middle East to the Pak-Afghan border.

“ISIS is basically a planted organisation, which is targeting to create wedge within the Muslim Ummah,” the PPP senator was of the opinion.

Expressing concern over Pakistan and the Pakistani prime minister being “overlooked” at the Saudi summit, the lawmaker wrote: “Pakistan was ignored and not given opportunity to express its experiences against terrorists and how Pakistan has suffered in this war on terror, which Pakistan is fighting for the international community.”

Emphasising over the need for unity among the Ummah and conciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Senator Malik referred to the holy Quran where Allah Almighty says “….conciliation between mankind; and he who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall give him a great reward - Al-Nisa 4:114.”

Urging prime minister of Pakistan to play his role in mediation between Saudi Arabia and Iran, he said: “In view of serious rising situation, I sincerely urge, that, you as prime minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, to play role in mediation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Islamic Republic of Iran on [an] urgent basis.”

Senator Malik advised the prime minister to seek the endorsement of the parliament through a joint session for this sacred mission.

In his closing remarks, he wrote: “I am confident, that you [prime minister] will succeed with the prayers of your nation and [the] Muslim Ummah to get these two Muslim states engaged in a meaningful dialogue to seize any risk of direct conflict between these two Muslim states, which will ultimately act as a catalyst in the creation of wedge within the Muslim Ummah, and will bring irreversible loss to [the] Muslim community”.