Pakistan mulls over participation in Saudi-led military alliance

Published: December 16, 2015
A file photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah. PHOTO: PID

A file photo of Foreign Office spokesperson Qazi Khalilullah. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: The foreign office has welcomed formation of the new Saudi-led military alliance against terrorism but said it was awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in the coalition.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday announced the 34-nation military alliance of Islamic countries against terrorism. The list of countries, included Pakistan, according to the Saudi state news agency.

However, a statement issued on Wednesday suggested Pakistan was yet to take a final decision.

Pakistan’s inclusion in Saudi alliance sparks confusion

“Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to international community,” reads the statement.

“Pakistan welcomes the formation of the 34-nation alliance to counter terrorism, and is awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance.”

The foreign office spokesperson said it would be recalled the 42nd meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Kuwait this year had reiterated its commitment to relevant UN and OIC resolutions on combating terrorism and extremism.

Saudi-led coalition says Yemen ceasefire has begun

“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close, cordial, and brotherly relations. Both countries condemn terrorism and cooperate in the efforts to eliminate this menace,” the spokesperson said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a government official said while Pakistan in principle had decided to support the new Saudi alliance, its participation would be limited to sharing expertise and other assistance.

The official ruled out the possibility of deployment of Pakistani troops on foreign soil under the new Saudi alliance.

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Reader Comments (23)

  • Rao
    Dec 16, 2015 - 6:36PM

    Who can do a better job of eliminating terrorism in Islamic countries than a willing military coalition formed by Muslim countries! As a receipient of generous amount of financial aid from rich oil countries, Pakistan has a moral obligation to give something in return. Pakistan has first hand experience in fighting terrorism. It has a highly disciplined armed forces, battle tested ones at that, large population, modern and above all a formidable nuclear military
    It should take a leading role. Recommend

  • iWarnPak
    Dec 16, 2015 - 7:00PM

    Pakistan don’t have to join any Club. Other members don’t have equal weight to Pak. Not Unless or until all Muslim countries are included. The terms must be dictated by the most powerful member, who is friend to every Muslim country, bringing the most experienced & weathered force. Pak has flaws; Now you know the power of a corruption-free state, run by the people & not by families of “robbers & dacoits”. Pak must stay away from any such commitment until it achieve that status among honorable nations, Period. Besides; it’s a trap only for Pak. Thanks, But; NO, Thanks!Recommend

  • syed &; syed
    Dec 16, 2015 - 8:59PM

    If intention is to fight terrorists an alliance be made to crush ambitious plans of Saudi Arabia who the actual terrorist, bombarding Yemen for the last seven months and sent forces in Bahrain. Second is Turkey who sent his forces in Iraq and giving a safe passage to terrorists in return buying stolen oil SyriaRecommend

  • S.R.H. Hashmi
    Dec 16, 2015 - 9:01PM

    It is good to learn that the foreign office has welcomed formation of the new Saudi-led military alliance against terrorism but is still awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in the coalition.

    Earlier on, quoting an unnamed official, it was reported that Pakistan is against deployment of its troops abroad unless the initiative had United Nations backing, and that it was because of this factor that Pakistan declined participating in Yemen initiative by Saudis and other Middle-Eastern states.

    Pakistan missed out on the earlier Yemen initiative and it would be a shame if it again failed to join the more than thirty-nation alliance, merely because it is not backed by a UN resolution. It is about time Pakistani leadership realized that the UN is a totally ineffective organization so far as the interests of Muslims is concerned. Two of the oldest, unresolved issues on its books are Kashmir and Palestine and on both, UN performance has been most despicable.

    We also have to keep in mind that the leading, founding members of the UN and its predecessor League of Nations, US and Britain, did not bother much about the UN resolution and invaded Iraq, and caused the death of nearly one million innocent Iraqis, destabilized Iraq and the region and hold responsibility for the creation of Daesh. In these circumstances, Pakistan’s reluctance to join an alliance not having full UN backing would be inappropriate and cowardly, which is the mildest way of putting it.

    Surely, with times, Pakistan should grow up and mature, and show courage to join new initiatives by Islamic states which would be more appropriate to the needs of the Ummah. Surely, that would be preferable to remaining contented, working in the familiar UN-determined environment which would be aligned more with the interests of United States and its close allies and may even have adverse consequences for Muslims.

    The only reservation Pakistan needs to have is to ensure that the alliance benefits the Ummah as a whole and does not cater solely to the whims and fancies of Sunni-majority states and used as a united front against Shia Iran.

    For the progress, prosperity and well-being of nearly two billion Muslims, we ought to rise above Shia-Sunni divide, join hands and work for our common good

    I hope by guaranteeing the territorial integrity of all Islamic states, Shia or Sunni, big or small, the alliance would help remove their fears and create a confidence level, which would make them more inclined to cooperate with each other, instead of seeing each other as an adversary. Surely, the earth still has abundant resources to cater to us all.


  • Lakhkar Khan
    Dec 16, 2015 - 9:31PM

    Say “NO to Pak army in the Middle East”. We have our own wars to fight. Recommend

  • bigsaf
    Dec 16, 2015 - 11:04PM

    This entire surprise Saudi announcement of a grand military alliance against terrorism and Pak’s reaction in being included in it, caught off guard, is pretty hilarious.Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 16, 2015 - 11:19PM


    Pakistan has no moral obligation to join an anti-Shia front at the behest of Saudi Arabia. Zero. We have no moral obligation to join immoral wars. The Saudis were able to buy influence and spread takfiri ideology when they were close to us, and that did nothing but damage us. They gave us money, but we spent more fighting the extremism they create. We need to question whether our warming relations with both Russia and Iran are worth ruining for the sake of a Wahabbi dictatorship that has spread its tentacles of extremism throughout the world.

    Let’s not forget that these Saudis disrespect us so much that they didn’t ask us for our permission to be included.Recommend

  • Bewildered
    Dec 16, 2015 - 11:46PM

    Pakistan shouldn’t let go this golden opportunity of repairing the damage done to relations with Arab countries during the Yemen saga, as this alliance is not against any country, but against terrorists of the worst kind. By not joining this grand alliance of Islamic countries against terrorism, Pakistan will permanently sour relations with closest friends like KSA, UAE, and Turkey. I doubt Iran, Iraq, and Syria would have joined the alliance even if requested by KSA. You cannot keep everyone happy, especially all the time. You stand with what is right and do what is in your national interest. Fighting out terrorists is the right thing to do and is in the interest of Pakistan. You must not wait until ISIS knock at our door. Pakistan has already suffered a lot by following this passive approach.Recommend

  • Wajahat
    Dec 16, 2015 - 11:51PM

    Pakistan should limit itself in providing expertise and training only.Recommend

  • NBM
    Dec 17, 2015 - 12:34AM

    This is a curious position for Pakistan having previously supported terrorism, until it backfired on them. Even now it has taken to sitting on the fence?Recommend

  • UK
    Dec 17, 2015 - 12:38AM

    According to international news channels, Pakistan, Indonesia and Malaysia were not even informed that they are included in this alliance. Recommend

  • globalobserver
    Dec 17, 2015 - 2:31AM

    “Pakistan mulls over participation in Saudi-led military alliance”

    Euphemism for holding out for more money?Recommend

  • Wizarat
    Dec 17, 2015 - 2:41AM

    The only sane one of the lot is Sultan Qaboos of Oman.
    He declined the offer earlier to join this kids war in Yemen. Yemen stands decimated by the huge air force of KSA, UAE, and the directions/intelligence support of the US. It is a shame that we keep ruining other Muslim countries at the behest of Israeli lobby.
    Now they want to include Pakistan in their folly against Iran, Iraq, Syria, Azerbaijan, and others..

    Oman has orchestrated the latest ceasefire in Yemen. Join hands with Oman to come up with solutions instead of creating further rift between Shia Muslims and Sunni Muslims. We all know whose ideology the Taliban, Al-Qaeda, and ISIS adhere to. I wonder how you kill your own off-spring? Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • buba
    Dec 17, 2015 - 3:12AM

    You won’t find any members of NATO who weren’t aware that they were members.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Dec 17, 2015 - 3:30AM

    @bigsaf: Ali Baba and 30 thieves Recommend

  • BlackHat
    Dec 17, 2015 - 4:12AM

    When asked, the Saudi spokesperson said that ISIS was not their target but “other” terrorists. The fact that Iran has not been invited to join the 34 country coalition, it is patently obvious that this is a coalition against Bashar Al Assad, Yemen and Iran. If it was a genuine coalition, it would not have left certain countries out! The West, Russia/Iran and the Saudi led coalition have incongruent and contradictory interests. People of Syria will have to pay in blood for the mess that is going to unfold. It sure looks like it is going to widen the Shia-Sunni divide. ISIS must be rejoicing at these developments. Can’t think of one good thing KSA has ever done!

    On a different note, how come KSA, the custodian of Islam, arguably the richest country in the Middle East, shut its doors to the refugees? Of course, the asylum seekers would prefer the West, for obvious reasons, but KSA could have made a token gesture.

    Arab Spring it was not! May be it is Global Warming for the Muslim world. Hope things don’t get worse!Recommend

  • Rao
    Dec 17, 2015 - 4:37AM

    @Lakhkar Khan:
    You are one of many chickens and peaceniks. Aid of all sorts coming to Pakistan was not a one-way street. It should be both ways. So don’t be just selfish.Recommend

  • Habibullah
    Dec 17, 2015 - 6:53AM

    Pakistan should say “YES” because it is the protector of Ummah !!!!Recommend

  • Sarfaraz Abbasi
    Dec 17, 2015 - 11:21AM

    Ready to make such a laughable alliance but chicken to stay silent when Palestinians and Kashmiris are butchered. Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Dec 17, 2015 - 12:04PM

    Sure we can join….but at the same time let Pakistan setup a Grand Coalition of those Muslim states, including KSA and other GCC, to push back Indian terrorists from Indian occupied Kashmir. Let’s see how many sign up…? There won’t be one country, so go figure.Recommend

  • Akhtar
    Dec 17, 2015 - 4:02PM

    34 Foreign Ministers, 34 Military commanders under specific thinking,,being led by Saudi Arabia,which is the strictest Muslim country. It says ‘I am against terror,’ but a sectarian approach is being displayed,keeping Iran, Iraq and Syria out of collation mean grudges against Shia Muslims, would it be beneficial for Muslims?? Recommend

  • Khan
    Dec 19, 2015 - 2:41AM

    Aid isn’t a loan. And besides, we gave Saudis full access to the minds of millions of Pakistanis. They bought access to our society to pollute it with their intolerance. Whatever money they gave us doesn’t equal the amount of damage their Wahabbi and Takfiri ideology have inflicted upon Pakistan.Recommend

  • syed & syed
    Dec 20, 2015 - 2:38AM

    @Khan:Please tell it to Nawaz Shareef who was an guest of honor in Saudi Arabia Recommend

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