Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor has quoted Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa as telling United States (US) Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that White House’s misadventure in Baghdad was detrimental to efforts aimed at regional peace.

“The region is making progress towards peace from a very bad situation and the Baghdad incident is detrimental to the peace efforts in the region,” the ISPR chief quoted the COAS as telling Pompeo as US-Iran tensions soar following the killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani and other officials in a US President Donald Trump-ordered drone strike on Friday in Baghdad.

Speaking to a private media outlet, Maj Gen Ghafoor also said that Pakistan will only play the role of a peacemaker and not take sides in the ongoing conflict between the two countries.

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“Pakistan has defeated terrorism on its territory and will not allow its soil to be used against any other country.”

According to Geo News, to a question regarding claims made in Indian media that Pakistan’s policy towards Iran has changed in the light of US resumption of military training program for Pakistan Army, the ISPR chief deemed it “Indian propaganda” and “fake news”.

“Islamabad and Washington were in talks for the last four or five months over the issue and linking it as Pakistan aligning with US is Indian propaganda,” he said. “Pakistan Army is a responsible and professional force and has exercised restraint despite provocative statements from Indian leadership.”

The military spokesperson also said that Gen Bajwa had an important role to play in regional security and Afghan peace process, and Pakistan didn’t want to see another conflict in the region.

“Pakistan would oppose any thing that is affecting Afghan reconciliation process as it needs focus from all parties. We are of the view that dialogue is the way forward to achieve lasting peace,” he said.