Protests in Iran over the execution of prominent Shia cleric Shiekh Nimr Al-Nimr by the Saudi government took a new turn on Saturday night when protesters stormed the Saudi embassy in Tehran and put parts of it to flame. The Iranian Ambassador was asked to leave Saudi Arabia as a result of this, after being summoned by the Saudi government to lodge their protest of the negative comments emerging from the others’ border. The Saudi government of course, would have been well aware of the ramifications of this execution. The diplomatic relations between the two countries have reached an all-time low, and with ones embassy put to flame and the others ambassador sent back to his own country, it will take more than a miracle to get either side to back down on this issue.

Tensions are running high in the Muslim world, which might be why the Saudi Foreign Minister has postponed his trip to Pakistan, to later this week, without citing any reason. The discussions to be held while he was here were going to be surrounding the issue of the 34 state Muslim anti-terror alliance, one which sprang up overnight without any clear indication of which group it was targeted against. The exclusion of Iraq, Syria and Iran, the countries that are facing the brunt of the ISIS attack indicates that the Islamic State might not be priority number one for this coalition.

The participation of Pakistan, subject to more information, is a convoluted issue considering the Foreign Office denied any involvement until this statement was hastily retracted from the top.

Pakistan on its part would do well to not take any sides in this conflict, not only because both countries are its allies, but also because of the need to protect its own society from further sectarian divisions. The anti-terror coalition itself is suspect if it does not clearly identify its targets or what it aims to do, which is not already being done by individual member states, allied with one side or the other depending on their own vested interests.

Saudi Arabia’s own ambitions in the region, fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen as a means to counter Iran and supporting the Assad regime, indicate a desire to divide the region over sectarian lines. Pakistan’s fight against terror is not the same as the one being sponsored by the Saudi government and the government would do well to confirm its participation in various areas with extreme caution.