Pakistan on Sunday rejected as “fabricated and baseless” reports that it plans to deploy its troops in Qatar amid diplomatic tensions in the Middle East. In a statement, Foreign Office spokesman Nafees Zakaria said that reports appearing in some foreign media regarding deployment of Pakistani troops in Qatar are “completely fabricated and baseless”. Zakaria further said that “these false reports appear to be part of a malicious campaign aimed at creating misunderstanding between Pakistan and brotherly Muslim countries in the Gulf,” PTI reported. In a setback for Qatar, Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have cut ties with the Gulf nation, accusing it of supporting extremist groups. Earlier, several Pakistani media outlets there reported that Islamabad may be planning to send troops to Doha, after Turkey’s decided to deploy troops in Qatar.
However, Islamad is said to be in a fix as it enjoys good ties with both Doha and Riyadh. It so far has been staying neutral in the issue. Zakaria, at the last weekly briefing, when asked to explain Pakistan’s stance on the current unrest in the Gulf, the foreign office spokesperson said it was increasingly concerned over the development. “Pakistan believes in unity among Muslim countries. We have made consistent efforts for its promotion. The situation, therefore, is a matter of concern,” Zakria was quoted as saying by The Tribune. He suggested that the government would not take sides in a conflict that can have huge implications for the country. A Tribune report says Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may soon pay a visit to Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia as part of Pakistan’s diplomatic manoeuvers to break the stalemate.