Pak friend to all, foe to none, will play its role as OIC member, NA told


Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz informed the National Assembly on Tuesday that Pakistan will continue to play its positive role as an important member of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).

In a policy statement in the National Assembly, he said being a friend of Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan would try to bridge the divide and improve relationship between the two countries.

He said after the visit of the Saudi Arabian foreign minister to Pakistan on Thursday, he would be able to give a more detailed statement on the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and other related issues.

On a point of order, Opposition leader Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah said Pakistan should play an active role to resolve the present tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Shireen Mazari said the issue is very sensitive and the government should have an even-handed approach towards it.

Sartaj Aziz hoped that Saudi Arabia and Iran would be able to restore relations through dialogue eventually. He said it is the responsibility of both the states to provide safety to diplomatic missions.

He said that for the last two and a half years, foreign policy has been very active and it has achieved a number of successes in terms of improving relations with different countries.

He said that the tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a very sensitive issue and the government is playing a positive and balanced role in this regard. He assured the House that the opinion of the members of the House would also be taken in this regard.

Sahibzada Tariqullah, Syed Asif Hasnain, Shah G Gul Afridi and Shaikh Rashid Ahmad also spoke on the issue and demanded that the government take the House into confidence over the issue.

They suggested that the government immediately send delegations to Saudi Arabia and Iran to resolve the issue between them.

Three private members’ bills were also introduced in the House on Tuesday. “The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2016” was moved by Dr. Nikhat Shakeel Khan, “The Births, Deaths and Marriages Registration (Amendment) Bill, 2016” was moved by Asiya Nasir and “The National Conflict of Interest Bill, 2016” was moved by Murad Saeed.

The chair referred the bills to the Standing Committees concerned for deliberations.