ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s initiative to seek peaceful resolution of Syria crisis based on the principles of non-intervention and non-interference is being hailed as Islamabad’s careful attempt to build a broad based consensus among the members of Muslim Ummah while maintaining its neutrality.
Background discussions with senior diplomats suggest that Islamabad stance on Syria was quite logical and its participation in international conference hosted by Iran was in line with the national security interest.
“The situation in Balochsitan province bordering Iran warrants that Islamabad should have good working relations with Tehran as Pakistan’s important neighbour”, a senior diplomat said while requesting anonymity.
He was of the view that Pakistan has limited options on crises in Syria because of the complexity of the issue, adding that Pakistan’s efforts to build broad based consensus among important OIC members including Iran, Turkey and Saudi Arabia was the best available policy option.
This follows Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts ahead of the extraordinary meeting of 57-member Organisation of Islamic Conference (OIC) convened by Saudi King Abdullah in Makah (Mecca) on August 14 and 15 aimed at evolving a broad-based consensus on crucial Syrian crises.
President Asif Ali Zardari along with foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar will attend the conference on the invitation of King Abdullah.
Pakistan’s efforts to keep neutrality – as it did by abstaining from US-sponsored resolution on Syria which was vetoed by Russia and China – is the best approach to prevent misunderstanding between Saudi Arabia and Iran as to strive for a broad based consensus in order to ensure unity in the OIC.
“Pakistan cannot ignore the important role of Iran in stabilising Balochistan, therefore its neutrality on Syrian situation is the best policy option it’s employing to address the issue,” another sources said.
He elaborated that in case Syria is destabilised as a result of a one-sided imposed solution, it would have far reaching implications for other regional countries including Iran and Pakistan, therefore, Islamabad has to follow a cautious diplomatic approach, he added.
“It is complex situation in Syria where major world powers stand divided and so are the divergent positions between the Arab League and Islamic republic of Iran, therefore Pakistan can only play a role of consensus builder rather than taking sides with any of the foreign stakeholders.”
Sources further said that since initiative of Saudi King is also aimed at seeking a consensus solution to the Syrian crisis, Pakistan’s efforts to build consensus among the members of the OIC was imperative.
“Pakistan should strive to keep the OIC united,” veteran diplomat and former foreign secretary-general Akram Zaki opined while talking to The Nation.
On the other hand, Saudi Arabia has also stepped up efforts to keep the OIC united on Syria question and is striving to push for a consensus Mecca Declaration to be adopted at the end of the OIC extraordinary meeting.
Apart from thorny Syrian crisis, the OIC would also take up for deliberations important issues including plight of Muslims in Myanmar, issues of Palestine as well as Kashmir.