With United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calling Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss heightening tensions with Tehran following the killing of top Iranian military leader Qassem Soleimani, Twitterati are wondering why did Pompeo choose the army chief over Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan or Foreign Minister (FM) Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
The telephonic conversation came after Iran’s top security body vowed to retaliate in the “right place and time” following Revolutionary Guards commander Soleimani’s death in an airstrike ordered by US President Donald Trump on Friday.
“America should know that its criminal attack on General Soleimani has been the country’s biggest mistake in west Asia, and America will not avoid the consequences of this wrong calculation easily,” the Supreme National Security Council said in a statement.
The dramatic escalation and subsequent fears of “World War III” were followed by both Washington and Tehran alerting their allies.
“#Pakistan’s Chief of Staff General Bajwa and I spoke today about U.S. defensive action to kill Qassem Soleimani. The #Iran regime’s actions in the region are destabilizing and our resolve in protecting American interests, personnel, facilities, and partners will not waver,” Pompeo tweeted on Friday.
In another tweet, Pompeo disclosed he spoke to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani as well about Soleimani’s killing “to protect American lives at stake”.
Separately, Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) disclosed that the army chief and the US secretary of state discussed “regional situation including possible implications” after the escalation in the Middle East.
“COAS received telephone call from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Regional situation, including possible implications of recent escalation in Middle East, was discussed,” the military’s media wing tweeted.
“COAS emphasised need for maximum restraint and constructive engagement by all concerned to de-escalate the situation in broader interest of peace and stability. COAS also reiterated the need for maintaining focus on success of Afghan Peace Process,” read another tweet.
‘WHY NOT IMRAN?’:
Meanwhile, Twitterati took to Twitter to ask as to why had Pompeo not called PM Imran or FM Qureshi at such a time.
The tweets came as Indian journalists such as The Hindu Editor Suhasini Haider pointed out the same.
While Pakistan’s Foreign Office (FO) has advised both the US and Iran to refrain from taking “unilateral action” against each other and abide by the United Nations (UN) Charter to respect each other’s territorial integrity, the premier has not yet made any statement.