ISLAMABAD:Though American Congress has limited the powers of Donald Trump for any attack on Iran, any act by the president anticipating that it might help him in the US presidential election would be disastrous for the region, including Pakistan.
This was stated by Senator Sehar Kamran while speaking at a roundtable: ‘US-Iran escalation in Middle East: implications and way forward for Pakistan’ organised by Centre for Pakistan and Gulf Studies (CPGS).
The senator said experts globally believed that skirmishes in the Middle East would continue but the world could face the worst scenario if President Trump decides to hit any of nuclear installations in Iran.
She said in any case Pakistan had to remain neutral and should not repeat past mistakes.“We need to stay firm with public trust and support of parliament and all institutions,” she said.
The discussion focused on the future of the region in case the conflict was widened. It was observed that a weak government in Iran would eventually allow the opponents of that country to encourage insurgencies and separatist movements in vulnerable areas in Iran.
Among such territories is Sistan province of Iran and any large scale insurgency there would have a negative impact on Balochistan province too.
Assistant Professor Dr Qamar Abbasi from Comsats University Islamabad lauded the decision of the government to remain neutral in the crisis while trying to defuse the tension.
He hinted that the US action was a diversion from the local issues and said the speech of President Trump reflected that he was addressing threats from the internal front.
“It is clear that US policies are led by oil, arms and pharma lobby. But the other key factor is the imperialistic approach – the psychological supremacy that the US leadership wants to impose – and Iran is resisting.” Head of International Relations Department at National Defence University (NDU) Dr Lubna Abid Ali said religion played a role in maintaining unity among the people. “But it has to be coupled with nationalism and economic interest of the nation.”
Dr Lubna said contrary to the expectations of US policymakers the killing of Gen Qasem Suleimani had actually united the people of Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.
She referred to participation of a large number of Christians in his funeral procession in Iraq. “He is remembered for liberating a centuries-old church in Faluja which would have been destroyed by ISIS.”
She said a major challenge for Muslim world was the corrupt leadership and people were critical of the clergy too and Pakistan was also facing both internal and external threats, therefore, a cautious approach was needed to deal with the current situation in the Middle East.
CPGS President Nasir Sheerazi said discussions on sensitive issues were needed in Pakistan and their deliberations should be food for thought for the policymakers.
Same version of this Article is published in Dawn News