Pakistani army chief Gen. Raheel Sharif has reiterated that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke a response from Islamabad. With Pakistan inserting itself into the Saudi-Iranian row signaling its support for Saudi Arabia, sectarian tensions rise as Pakistan joins Saudi Arabia and Iran feels surrounded.
Sharif made the remarks Sunday in a statement after Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman called on him in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, which is adjacent to the capital.
Salman arrived earlier in Islamabad, making him the second top Saudi official to visit Pakistan in a week amid growing tension with Iran over Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr’s recent execution.
The Saudi prince is also expected to meet with other Pakistani leaders. The visits came after Saudi Arabia, and several of its allies, announced the severing or downgrading of diplomatic relations with Shiite only powerhouse Iran.
Pakistan is a predominantly Sunni state with 90% of the population embracing the Sunni sect and about 10% embracing the Shiite sect. Only 3.6% are either Christians or Hindu.
The Shiite community in Pakistan has been at the receiving end of terror attacks due mostly to the Iranian crimes the IRGC committed in Syria against innocent civilian women and children.
As far as Barack Obama is concerned, he was last seen napping under a tree.
AFP contributed to this article.
Sectarian Tensions Rise as Pakistan Joins Saudi Arabia