ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday expressed deep concern and called for maximum restraint from all sides after the US killed top Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, dramatically escalating hostilities in the Persian Gulf region.
General Soleimani, the powerful commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, was killed when a drone fired missiles into a convoy that was leaving the Baghdad International Airport early on Friday. The strike also killed the deputy chief of Iraq's powerful Hashed al-Shaabi paramilitary force and some local Iran-backed militias. "Pakistan has viewed with deep concern the recent developments in the Middle East, which seriously threatens peace and stability in the region," the Pakistan Foreign Office (FO) said.
The Foreign Office asked all parties to exercise maximum restraint, engage constructively to de-escalate the situation, and resolve issues through diplomatic means in accordance to the UN Charter and international laws.
The Foreign Office said respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity were the fundamental principles of the UN Charter which should be adhered to. The Foreign Office said unilateral actions and use of force must be avoided.
The Pentagon has confirmed the death of Soleimani, saying the military action was carried out at the direction of President Donald Trump. "At the direction of the president, the US military has taken decisive defensive action to protect US personnel abroad by killing Qasem Soleimani, the head of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-Quds Force, a US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation," the Pentagon said in a statement.