ISLAMABAD - Pakistan yesterday said US President Donald Trump was “eager” to receive a telephone call from Prime Minister Imran Khan as Islamabad launched a mediatory role on the Gulf crisis and US-Iran tensions.

Speaking at a news conference here, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that Pakistan’s ties with the US had “greatly improved” and “they (President Trump) are eager to receive a call from Prime Minister Imran Khan.”

Earlier, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that US President Donald Trump had asked him to be a go-between Iran and the US. PM Khan said that he spoke to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani when he was in Iran about the US offer and that’s an “evolving situation. Let’s see if it gets anywhere.”“The US is a little bit more complicated, so I won’t go into too much details until there’s some response from both sides. What I like about him (Donald Trump) is he does not believe in wars,” Imran Khan said.

The FM said Iran and Saudis were close to launching a dialogue process after Islamabad’s intervention. Qureshi said Iran and Saudi Arabia had shown willingness to hold talks.

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Qureshi said that the worsening of Iran and Saudi Arabia ties will have a “profound impact.” “Iran says it does not want tensions with Riyadh. PM Imran Khan’s talks with the Saudi leadership also have been positive,” he added.

The FM said that Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed positive sentiments of Iranian leadership, Pakistan’s point of view, and regional situation to Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He said any threat of conflict was fading away.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif also appreciated efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan for peace and stability in the region. In a tweet, he expressed gratitude to Imran Khan for his efforts to promote peace in the region. The Iranian minister invited leaderships of all the regional countries to work in unison for peace, security and prosperity of the region.

FM Qureshi said that Saudi Arabia had agreed to remain engaged and consult closely to take forward Prime Minister Imran Khan’s initiative to ensure peace and security in the region.

Imran Khan during his meetings with Saudi leadership had said Pakistan was ready to facilitate efforts for de-escalation of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran. He stressed the importance of avoidance of military conflict and constructive engagement of all parties.

Prime Minister Khan reaffirmed that Pakistan will always be shoulder-to-shoulder with Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi leadership appreciated serious efforts of Prime Minister Imran Khan towards promoting peace and stability in the region and the impact of this initiative on de-escalation of tensions.

During these meetings, the FM said, the Prime Minister also apprised the Saudi leadership of grave human rights and humanitarian situation in Occupied Jammu and Kashmir including continuous lockdown, curfew and other communication restrictions for 73 days that seriously imperilled peace and security in the region.

The Saudi leadership reaffirmed its commitment to close ties with Pakistan and reiterated the resolve to deepen bilateral collaboration in all fields including trade, energy, security and defence, he added. “Saudi and Iranian leadership also supported the just cause of Kashmir and reiterated the importance of avoiding escalation of tensions and a peaceful resolution of the issue,” Qureshi said.

The FM thanked the leadership of Iran and Saudi Arabia for supporting Pakistan’s stance over Kashmir. He said former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister and National Conference leader Farooq Abdullah’s daughter Safia and sister Suraya were detained by Indian occupation forces and shifted to Srinagar’s central jail, as they tried to stage a protest demonstration in the heart of Srinagar city against the scrapping of Kashmir’s special status.

He said women’s protests in Srinagar have proved that a new wave was emerging, adding that the Indian forces also tortured the protesting females and used pellet guns and tear gas to disperse protesters. He said India restored mobile service but suspend SMS service, which indicated grim situation in the occupied Kashmir. To a question on Financial Action Task Force, Qureshi said Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar was leading the Pakistan side to convince the world about effective steps taken by Islamabad to control terror financing. He expressed the hope that India will not succeed in its designs to get Pakistan black listed with FATF.