ISLAMABAD: Defence Minister Khawaja Asif said on Friday that Pakistan has made no decision as yet to participate in the Yemen conflict, but will defend Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity at all costs.
Contrary to Saudi Arabia’s view that five Muslim countries including Egypt and Pakistan expressed interest in wanting to participate in the Gulf-led military coalition against Huthi, Asif said that no such decision had yet been made.
“Should we need to commit troops, the parliament will be taken into confidence,” the minister said.
“Pakistan will by all means defend Saudi Arabia and its integrity if it is harmed.”
He reiterated that all the conflicts in the Islamic need to be brought to an end, adding that Pakistan is not prepared to take part in any conflict that would divide the Muslim world on sectarian lines.
Earlier today, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief, Imran Khan, took to social media and urged that Pakistan should merely assist and be a part of the peace talks rather than being a participant in the US-Saudi alliance.
The defence minister informed the lower house that he had no intentions of visiting the kingdom in the near future.
On Thursday night, a high-level meeting headed by Premier Nawaz Sharif concluded: “Any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity would evoke a strong response from Pakistan.”
A delegation comprising Federal Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif and Advisor to PM on National Security Tariq Fatmi, together with senior representatives from the armed forces, were reportedly visiting Saudi Arabia to assess the situation.
Yemen issue raised in Senate
An independent Senator Mohsin Khan Leghari also moved to the Senate on Riyadh’s decision to fight Houthi rebels in Yemen.
“There are reports regarding possibility of involvement of Pakistan Armed Forces in the conflict in the Middle East,” the calling attention notice submitted in the Senate Secretariat reads.
“It is a matter of great national importance. The minister in charge cabinet division may apprise the house of the factual position in this regard.”