military confrontation between Iran and the United States will have devastating
repercussions for the entire region. Therefore, all stakeholders have been
struggling to de-escalate the volatile situation.
opted for a proactive confidence-building approach to prevent the spiraling of
tensions between Washington and Tehran. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi,
on the directives of Prime Minister Imran Khan, spoke with his regional
counterparts as well as Russian and Chinese Foreign Ministers to apprise them
about the negativity of the conflict and to sort their help in defusing
tensions in the region.
Russians’ increasing role in Middle Eastern and 系统affairs cannot be
ignored by the great powers nor regional actors, including Pakistan. The
country has been struggling to improve its security, economic, and diplomatic
relations with Russia.
The convergence of interests and increasing cooperation between Moscow and
Islamabad will have constructive implications for regional security stability.
They have been assisting each other for restoring peace in Afghanistan and have
agreed on the importance of coordinating with each other to help the Middle
support is vital in this regard. Russia has maintained cordial relations with
Iran and keeps a military presence in Syria. This month, President Vladimir
Putin’s surprise visits to Syria and Turkey accentuated Russia’s influence
across the Middle East.
The Russians’ increasing role in Middle Eastern and
Afghanistan affairs cannot be ignored by the great powers nor regional actors,
Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal
Jan. 10, before embarking on his Middle East peace-mission, Foreign Minister
Shah Mahmood Qureshi called his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, and took
him into confidence over the critical situation in the region. He shared with
him Pakistan’s recent efforts to de-escalate tensions between Iran and the US.
The Russians praised Pakistan’s timely constructive response to a grim
and Russia have similar challenges in the region. For instance, both sides have
been exposed to radicalized Islamist militant syndicates with sanctuaries in
Afghanistan. They understand that de-stabilization in the Middle East due to
escalations of current tensions between Tehran and Washington, only intensify
an anarchical situation in the region, which will play to the advantage of
non-state actors such as Daesh and their South Asian and Central Asian allies.
Daesh’s subsidiaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan have been endangering both
Russia and Pakistan have been struggling to defeat such organizations and end
their sanctuaries in the neighborhood. The two countries also constituted a
Joint Working Group on counter-terrorism to enhance bilateral cooperation in
checking the nefarious activities of such organizations.
sides have been cooperating for restoring peace in Afghanistan and deliberating
on the means and ways to combat transnational militant organizations with their
sanctuaries in Afghanistan.
Russians are alarmed, due to the increasing presence of Daesh in their
neighborhood, and its contacts with Central Asian militant organizations. In
April 2018, at the SCO forum, Russia’s Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said
that Russia had “supported the launch of direct talks between the Afghan
government and the Taliban movement while preventing Daesh from recruiting
Taliban members.” Pakistan is also supporting peace talks between the Taliban
and the US, and between Taliban and Russia to resolve the Afghanistan crisis.
urging Iran’s leadership to observe restraint, FM Qureshi visited Riyadh to
take the Saudi ruling elite into confidence and apprised them about the
intentions of Pakistan. He then traveled to the US to talk to the Trump
administration to de-escalate the crisis in the region.
from meeting US officials and lawmakers, he also met with UN Secretary-General
Antonio Guterres and President of the UN General Assembly, Tijjani
Muhammad-Bande. These confidence-building efforts from Pakistan, to reduce
tensions between Iran and the US have already had a relaxing impact on regional
stakeholders, including the Russians and the Chinese.
In summary, the cooperation between Moscow and Islamabad is vital for resolving
the prevailing crisis in the Middle East, and ending decades’ long, protracted
asymmetrical warfare in Afghanistan.
Zafar Nawaz Jaspal is an Islamabad-based analyst and professor at the School of
Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam
University. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not necessarily
reflect Arab News' point-of-view