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Pakistan, India urge restraint after Soleimani killing

Pakistani foreign ministry urges all parties to 'resolve issues through diplomatic means'

Sorvar Alam   | 04.01.2020
Pakistan, India urge restraint after Soleimani killing

ANKARA

Pakistan expressed "deep concern" Friday over the killing of commander of the Iranian elite Quds Force Qasem Soleimani in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq.

Pakistani Foreign Ministry said the development in the Middle East has "seriously threatened peace and stability in the region."

Pakistan also called on all concerned parties "to exercise maximum restraint, engage constructively to deescalate the situation."

"Respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity are the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, which should be adhered to. It is also important to avoid unilateral actions and use of force," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Aisha Farooqui.

She also urged all parties to "resolve issues through diplomatic means, following the UN Charter and international law."

Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari also urged the UN to defuse the situation, adding that the killing has escalated tensions in the region. The minister further said that it was in no one’s interest to have a war in an already volatile region.

India's External Affairs Ministry said New Delhi has "consistently advocated restraint and continues to do so."

"We have noted that a senior Iranian leader has been killed by the US. The increase in tension has alarmed the world. Peace, stability and security in this region is of utmost importance to India. It is vital that the situation does not escalate further," it said in a statement.

Soleimani was commander of elite Quds Force, the central column of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, designated as a terror group by the U.S. in 2007. The force is estimated to have 20,000 fighters.

The U.S. strike near Baghdad International Airport also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, vice president of the Hashd al-Shaabi group, or Popular Mobilization Units, local media reported.

The attack came amid heightened tensions after thousands of Iran-backed protesters stormed the U.S. Embassy compound in Baghdad on Tuesday.

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