ISLAMABAD - Foreign Minister of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif will visit Pakistan today to discuss the Saudi-Yemen crisis with Pakistani authorities while Islamabad is expected to float a proposal seeking to bring about immediate ceasefire in Yemen to pave way for a political solution.  

Well-placed diplomatic sources told The Nation on Tuesday that Islamabad has launched a diplomatic initiative aiming at engaging Turkey and Iran to make a joint request to China to mobilize the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) in order to bring about immediate ceasefire in Yemen.

According to the sources, the move would greatly help to seek a political solution to the ongoing Saudi-Yemen crisis. “Since China is member of the UN Security Council, it can make good use of its leverage to bring about ceasefire,” a senior government official said requesting not to be named for sensitivity of the matter.

He was upbeat that diplomatic initiative of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif would bear fruit, adding that common position of Pakistan and Turkey over the Yemen crisis has created a space to engage Iran that has been accused by Saudi Arabia for backing Houthis rebels in Yemen, to make concerted efforts for immediate ceasefire.

The sources further said that Islamabad and Ankara are on the same page and efforts are underway to engage Iran in order to make concerted efforts for ceasefire in Yemen as well as political means to resolve the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

“Pakistan and Turkey are in contact through their diplomatic missions, and Turkish Foreign Minister is also expected to pay a visit to Pakistan soon to apprise Islamabad about Ankara’s efforts to engage Iran”, sources said.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani earlier on Tuesday met in Tehran and discussed the proposal; diplomatic sources in Islamabad confirmed hoping these efforts would lead to a political solution.

Pakistan had sent a high level delegation to Riyadh last week to discuss Saudi Arabia’s request seeking Pakistan’s military assistance on the face of threat from Yemen.

The delegation led by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif assured Saudi authorities that any threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty would evoke Pakistan’s strongest response. At home, the government has convened joint sitting of the parliament to discuss Saudi request and Pakistan’s possible role in Saudi- Yemen crisis.

The parliament would come with some recommendations by the weekend. Also, Pakistan is considering taking up the Saudi-Yemeni crisis with Chinese President expected to visit Pakistan next week. Islamabad would discuss the ceasefire proposal through the UNSC with Chinese President.