Vast swathes of Syria have been reduced to ashes ruthlessly by different players. More than half of Afghanistan lies in ruins owing to downright hostilities across the country for decades. Iraq is still reeling from a war waged on it on flimsy grounds in blatant defiance of International Law. Yemenites of all ages have been experiencing horrors of war since March 2015. Libya has been going through a period of instability and is on the verge of all-out civil war once again. There are many commonalities among the above countries. All are Muslim states; all are in the same region; and the source of their troubles is same which constitutes the United States along with some other European and regional nations. Now these actors are adamant on adding Iran to the list.

Exactly four years ago Iran and P5+1(Five permanent members of UN Security Council and Germany) concluded a nuclear deal prior to which Tehran was working on development of atomic weapons. The Iran nuclear deal that is formally called as Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) was reached upon after difficult and lengthy negotiations which opened in 2006. To no one’s surprise, all these hard and sustained efforts went in vain when in May 2018 the capricious Donald Trump administration announced the US withdrawal from the deal along with the imposition of high level economic sanctions on Iran. The rest of P5+1 countries regretted the US’ unilateral withdrawal whereas the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Israel hailed this decision.

The International Court of Justice on October 3, 2018, denounced the new US’ sanctions on Tehran given that Iran had been fully implementing the JCPOA which was time and again authenticated by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). There are strong suspicions that the US and Israel are trying to interfere in the working of IAEA as in January its Director General hinted towards attempts for micromanaging and pressurizing the agency to manipulate nuclear data and at the same time he termed such efforts as counterproductive and extremely harmful. Prompted by Israel and its Arab allies, it seems the United States is looking for a slightest justification to make a war which will prove extremely destructive to everyone except some segments in America and Israel. Engrossed in a fierce enmity, some Gulf countries are negligent of worries that would be brought home by a conflict in the neighbourhood. Saudi Arabia is already directly engaged in the Yemen war where Yemen’s Houthis have launched many drone and missile attacks on places within its jurisdictions. Due to present unsatisfactory situation all over the Middle East, instability may arise in any regional country any time spreading far and wide in no time. An all-out war with Iran would lead to circumstances beyond anyone’s control. The ensuing chaos will not be confined to the Iranian borders. The Riyadh’s vision 2030 may be shattered and the economic reforms may be dropped due to unavoidable circumstances. Dubai, which is now a business hub, may face desertion as Iran would not groan in the agonies of war alone. Volatile situation already prevails in most of the Arab region, one other conflict may lead to crossing of threshold where no country will remain safe in the region and beyond.

Tensions in the Middle East present strong challenge to Pakistan as well. On one hand it enjoys economic support from Saudi Arabia and UAE while on other hand it shares a long border with Iran in Baluchistan, a province which faces many security problems. Taking sides will certainly prove extremely dangerous while maintaining neutrality will be a delicate task to undertake. Moreover, the Afghan war got Pakistan in to dire security predicaments breeding violence throughout the country. Another conflict on the eastern border can potentially waste all the gains achieved due to adoption of safety measures in the last decade. Pakistan certainly cannot afford another unreasonable war along its frontiers. 

Prime Minister Imran khan is reportedly scheduled to meet the US president Donald Trump this month. He is known for his communication and convincing skills which need to be demonstrated to make stop this impending war for the good of Pakistan, Muslim ummah, and the whole world. To give weight to his political stance, PM Imran khan should win endorsement of other prominent Muslims leaders and P5+1 countries (Excluding USA) in this regard. Being opponent of the Afghan and Iraq war and holding a belief that Great nations do not fight endless wars, the US president should not play in to the hands of hawks within his own administration and in Israel. The dormant OIC must also be awaken from its deep slumber to play its role especially in present scenario as it involves Muslims countries vs Muslim country. Lessons should be learnt from previous and ongoing wars — peace must be given a chance.