Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has told Saudi Arabia that Pakistan will not take sides in the ongoing the Middle East diplomatic row, leading King Salman to ask Islamabad "are you with us or with Qatar".
The Express Tribune reported that Premier Sharif and army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other senior officials were in Jeddah on Monday to find a diplomatic solution to the Qatar crisis and to discuss the emerging situation in the Arab world.
Clearly stating that Pakistan will not take sides in the Middle East crisis, "Pakistani side told the Saudi leadership that Islamabad would support any efforts to foster unity among the Muslim Ummah. However, Pakistan would not take sides in any event that would create divisions within the Muslim world," the daily quoted sources, as saying.
Riyadh wants Islamabad to side with the kingdom to isolate Qatar but Pakistan insisted that it will use its influence over Qatar to defuse the situation and for that purpose, the prime minister will undertake visits to Kuwait, Qatar and Turkey.
"This is primarily an issue among the Gulf countries and we hope they resolve the issue by themselves."
An editorial in a leading Pakistani newspaper has cautioned the Nawaz Sharif government on getting embroiled in conflict in the Middle East and suggested to immediately end its involvement in the Saudi -led Islamic Military alliance .
The editorial said Saudi Arabia is and will remain an important ally of Pakistan but responsible friends must also be unafraid to speak the principled truth and protect themselves from colossal errors by the other.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)