Are you with us or with Qatar, Saudi King asks Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif

Pakistan has been treading a careful path since Saudi and other Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing the oil-rich country of supporting terrorist groups.

By: PTI | Islamabad | Published:June 14, 2017 4:15 pm
Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan, Qatar, King Salman Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif looks out the window of his plane after attending a ceremony to inaugurate the M9 motorway between Karachi and Hyderabad, Pakistan February 3, 2017. Picture taken February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Caren Firouz, File

“Are you with us or with Qatar?” Saudi King Salman raised this question during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who had visited the Gulf Kingdom for finding a diplomatic solution to the Qatar crisis. The Saudi monarch asked Sharif to take a clear position on Qatar during their meeting in Jeddah on Monday, The Express Tribune reported, citing diplomatic sources.

“Pakistan has told Saudi Arabia it will not take sides in the brewing diplomatic crisis in the Middle East after Riyadh asked Islamabad ‘are you with us or with Qatar’,” the paper said.

Pakistan has been treading a careful path since Saudi and other Gulf countries snapped diplomatic ties with Qatar after accusing the oil-rich country of supporting terrorist groups. But Saudi wants Pakistan to side with the kingdom, it said.

Citing a senior government official, who was briefed on the talks at the monarch’s palace in Jeddah, the paper said that Pakistan would not take sides in any event that would create divisions within the Muslim world.

“Nevertheless, in order to placate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan offered to use its influence over Qatar to defuse the situation. For this purpose, the prime minister will undertake visits to Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey,” it said.

Sharif, accompanied by army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior officials, travelled to Jeddah on Monday to discuss the emerging situation in the Gulf world.

Prime Minister Sharif’s mediation visit to Saudi did not achieve any immediate breakthrough.

According to an official statement, Sharif met King Salman in Jeddah and urged an early resolution of the impasse in Gulf in the best interest of all Muslims.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said King Salman and Sharif discussed the “latest regional developments” in addition to bilateral relations.

Salman told Sharif that “the fight against extremism and terrorism is in the interest of all Muslims and the Ummah”.

The SPA, while announcing the severing of relations with Qatar, had said it had been done for “protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”.

Qatar, meanwhile, has indicated that it was willing to address concerns of the countries that ended diplomatic relations with it.

The current crisis in the Gulf is said to be the gravest that the Gulf Cooperation Council has faced in its nearly four decades of existence, although Qatar’s relations with Saudi and some other Arab neighbours have not always been good.

Other diplomatic efforts have so far not been successful in defusing tensions either.

Kuwait’s Emir Sheikh Sabah al Ahmad, who has been leading the diplomatic initiative, vowed to continue his efforts to resolve the ongoing crisis despite remaining unsuccessful in his earlier bid.

Saudi, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt had cut off diplomatic ties and transport links with Qatar on June 5 on the pretext that its policies are fuelling extremism and terrorism.

The crisis erupted late last month over fears that Qatar was trying to improve its ties with Iran, which Saudi Arabia and its allies wanted to be isolated.

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  1. A
    allrio
    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:14 pm
    depends on how much cash bribes have been paid to immoral pak ppl, by chinese, by iraniz, by qatariz. eg, z oldest pals of Chinese , who have banned use of islamik baby names , banned beard, and pak full support, due to money bribes from chinese to pak generals.
    Reply
    1. R
      Raj Parwani
      Jun 14, 2017 at 11:01 pm
      You are ignorant, just keep your mouth shut if you don't have any knowledge about the subject being discussed. stan being one of the strongest nations in entire Muslim world is important for both sides, it's not like India, which nobody in the middle east, central Asia and North Africa cares about.
      Reply
    2. C
      Citizen
      Jun 14, 2017 at 8:56 pm
      It is a well known fact which side they are that is their state policy!!!!! Only global powers should take action about this. Jaihind
      Reply
      1. S
        Sameer Bandookwala
        Jun 14, 2017 at 8:43 pm
        This was a very simple question and the answer from s was " We are with the highest bidders". Out Chatur Gujjus dont understand that if you pay the right price the Pak army politicians will lick Indian boots. So our Prime Moron is not that Chatur Baniya.
        Reply
        1. B
          Babu Gupta
          Jun 14, 2017 at 6:57 pm
          And the answer is A donkey belonging to a washerman (who uses this animal for ferrying the load of soaked dirty clothes between home and washing place) belongs to no place at all.
          Reply
          1. A
            Against traitors
            Jun 14, 2017 at 6:35 pm
            Tootharam Bechury will talk to his Chinese Masters to solve stan problem so that it will give more trouble to Modi so that bar maid and traitors can enjoy in India.
            Reply
            1. S
              Sameer Bandookwala
              Jun 14, 2017 at 8:44 pm
              Even if wife elopes with another man you would blame Commies for that.
              Reply
              1. S
                Shekhar
                Jun 16, 2017 at 8:30 pm
                Yes bandook-- its similar to what you guys do. SOmeone s and u and your Kangress masters blame Modi for it. SO serves u right.
                1. S
                  Shekhar
                  Jun 16, 2017 at 8:31 pm
                  For anything and everything you guys blame Modi -- so for tat. Serves you right.
              2. L
                l s
                Jun 14, 2017 at 6:24 pm
                Nawaz Sharif and stan are with those who give them money in huge amounts. They will even support the devil if sufficient is given.
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                  Briju Yadavad
                  Jun 14, 2017 at 4:27 pm
                  He is puppet PM for sure, wherever he goes the Army chief will go with him.
                  Reply
                  1. C
                    Citizen
                    Jun 14, 2017 at 9:01 pm
                    We too had for ten years who thought PM means Puppet Minister and served well in that capacity at that time it was not army cheif but some other chief along with a calf you can see this many photos of that time but now we have one who thinks Powerful Minister/Prime Minister Jaihind
                    Reply
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