Not participating in Yemen war but will defend Saudi territorial integrity: Asif

Published: March 27, 2015
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Should we need to commit troops, the parliament will be taken into confidence, says minister. PHOTO: REUTERS

Should we need to commit troops, the parliament will be taken into confidence, says minister. PHOTO: REUTERS

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.  

Read: Saudi Arabia launches strikes against Huthi rebels in Yemen

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.”

Read: Saudi says Pakistan wants to join fight against Yemen rebels

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.

Read: Pakistan should play negotiator’s role rather than take part in Yemen war, says Imran

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.”

 

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Reader Comments (32)

  • Karachi 4
    Mar 27, 2015 - 1:07PM

    I fully support this strategy that Pakistan defends the territory of Saudi Arabia as they have requested assistance.Saudi Arabia has stood by Pakistan through thick and thinRecommend

  • abc
    Mar 27, 2015 - 1:31PM

    We should send naval war ships into red sea and show strength. Rest unless they do not threaten to cross into saudia we should not get involved in sectarian wars. Recommend

  • Awais
    Mar 27, 2015 - 1:33PM

    God I hope Pakistan doesn’t go into this war. It’s not our war to fight and it’ll damage the army even more than Afghanistan and the Taliban did. #StayOutOfYemenRecommend

  • Parvez
    Mar 27, 2015 - 1:50PM

    Speaking from both sides of the mouth………not a good idea. Recommend

  • Dagan
    Mar 27, 2015 - 2:05PM

    It means price is not enough… Saudi need to increase the price.Recommend

  • imme
    Mar 27, 2015 - 2:20PM

    Who cares if they attack KSA or iran .. focus on your own mess before taking care of restRecommend

  • woody
    Mar 27, 2015 - 2:45PM

    The only voice that counts when it comes to deploying Pakistan troops is COAS. – maybe the one benefit of having a military that doesn’t report to Civilian govt.Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Mar 27, 2015 - 2:46PM

    Why cant Saudi’s defend themselves? They have their own armed forces besides have they ever offered any assistance in solving issues because of their funding for the religious parties etc.Recommend

  • TooTrue
    Mar 27, 2015 - 3:56PM

    Why in God’s name? Have they ever defended yours?Recommend

  • slave of riyal
    Mar 27, 2015 - 3:57PM

    when was the last time Saudi sent its forces to defend Pak territorial integrity?Recommend

  • Sonya
    Mar 27, 2015 - 4:43PM

    PML N has made Pakistan a feel-low country – wish Mushraf returns to power to restore the pride.Recommend

  • Asif
    Mar 27, 2015 - 4:51PM

    We should provide support because our Army will get good experience in warfare. Saudis will pay for the cost of the war and they will pay for new equipment. The money the soldiers will earn will be huge and it will all come back to Pakistan. Finally Saudis have helped us in the past it is now pay back time.Recommend

  • Syedain
    Mar 27, 2015 - 5:25PM

    No time to get involved put your home in order, but its hopeless to expect something good from Shariefs, obey the masters is their slogan.Recommend

  • Tamiz ud din
    Mar 27, 2015 - 6:16PM

    By helping the Houthis rebels in Yemen, Iran is violating all the international norms and conduct and threatening the neighbouring country i.e, Saudia Arabia to out set the present government. Which is a very serious and dangerous matter and we should condemened it. Because one day they will also do the same with us as they were doing in the gulf and middle east and have done in Afg. This is very very dangerous trend of the Iranians. Recommend

  • Sarfraz Khan
    Mar 27, 2015 - 6:25PM

    Let’s concentrate on our own territorial integrity. Also, Yemen has a disputed border with Saudi Arabia and there is no reason to make enemies with Yemen. Saudi Arabia is the aggressor here, since it just bombed a civilian area in Sanaa.Recommend

  • Dallas Ali
    Mar 27, 2015 - 7:29PM

    Great news that Pak. is not going to get into the Yemen conflict. It is an internal issue and no foreign country should intervene. Recommend

  • SaneVoice
    Mar 27, 2015 - 8:16PM

    First they should defend Pakistan’s territorial integrity, they cannot even ensure the safety of children in schools and here they are going to defend a county larger than Pakistan.Recommend

  • Salman Husen
    Mar 27, 2015 - 9:25PM

    I do agree with this decision…. there are to Holly places and being the Muslim we should support the Saudi Government in this matter….Recommend

  • raja
    Mar 27, 2015 - 9:48PM

    Sending army to defend KSA border while KSA sends it army into Yemen is samething as attacking Yemen. If Pakistan is lining for support of anti shia lliance then soon Afganistan and
    Bahrain and Kashmir will come in fire. Pak has to figure out how sell nukes to KSA. I can foresee use of Nukes by Wahhabi(ISIS/AlQueda) to eliminate shias. In this regard KSA is working with Isael. Finally the true picture of KSA is coming out. They are funding rebels in Syria already, also funded ISIS( tecit understanding still). KSA/Jordan?Turkey/USA all wanted to break up Syria but some how Assad survived since Shia, Christians, Kurds are fighting the SIS/Others. This 7th century revisited. Lord of Middle East is Israel where US congress is acting like Kansset. New fighting force Israel against Iran is: Arabs(sunni/kings), Turks and Pakistan. India should play cards close to chest to become defacto US ally in the region while muslims kill each other. Recommend

  • bari yaseenzai
    Mar 27, 2015 - 10:13PM

    it is not our but it is a war between Iran and Saudi why Pakistan participating in it hence we already facing great hardship in war against terrorism this sectarian war will spread to our own country and we will face grave consequences of it at that time specially our neighbor country gain benefits from it Recommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Mar 27, 2015 - 10:32PM

    At this time, isn’t KSA threatening the “territorial integrity” of Yemen rather than the other way around? So why does KSA then need protection from Yemen?

    And with it being the largest importer of arms, why does KSA need Pakistani help?

    Just wondering…Recommend

  • globalobserver
    Mar 27, 2015 - 11:03PM

    @Dagan:

    “It means price is not enough… Saudi need to increase the price.”

    There you go, you got it right! I am sure the Pakistani generals and elites are salivating in anticipation of this new opportunity to milk the Saudis for some mega bucks now that the American freebies are drying out.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Mar 27, 2015 - 11:39PM

    The good decision! Pakistan has the defense agreement with the Saudi Arabia but not obliged to support Saudi adventure in the third country which is reeling with civil war. Turkish President has not ruled out logistic support, but is offering political support for Saudi offensive. The stakes are very high, the question remains what practical steps Iran is prepared to undertake to defend Hutis?offered to support Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Mar 28, 2015 - 2:06AM

    It is apparent that the sham democracy in Pakistan has not empowered the people to have their voices heard. They were helpless when Ziaul Huq plunged them against the Soviets in the Afghanistan war and they are helpless now when Nawaz Sharif throws them in the sectarian war in Yemen. Nobody is remembering the $1.5 billion “gift” that the Saudis gave Pakistan a little over a year ago as a payoff for a time like this. A nation that could not protect 150 school children is going to protect the Saudis from the Houthis. That is a dream come true for the Taliban; when Pakistan army is thinned out by fighting in foreign wars there would be less of them here to fight the internal militants.Recommend

  • blue
    Mar 28, 2015 - 2:20AM

    This is shocking, Pakistani politicians do HAVE BRAINS! They have enough coalition to help. No need to send anyone. Recommend

  • Ali J
    Mar 28, 2015 - 3:13AM

    Pakistan first needs to defend itselfRecommend

  • The other dimension
    Mar 28, 2015 - 8:17AM

    Most observers are looking at the Iran-Saudi conflict through the prism of sectarianism. Another dimension is nationalistic. Expansion through client states is a form of neo-imperialism, which emanates from nationalism. Sectarianism and religion can also become a tool of nationalism. Both the Persian and Arab ethnic identities predate their sectarian identification. So, the national and ethnic dimension of the Iran-Arab conflict should be kept in focus.Recommend

  • Zubair Khan
    Mar 28, 2015 - 10:59AM

    Do not believe civil political elite. Might be Pakistanis already involved in this conflict. Wait when some casualty will occure. Deceased or captured soldier or pilot will be identified as Paksitani.Recommend

  • miristan
    Mar 28, 2015 - 11:00AM

    This is a good news. But if it is proved that Government is sending volunteers from Pak Air force and Army to Saudi Arabia to fight in Yemen. Than there will be no place to hide for Nawaz and his family.Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 28, 2015 - 12:06PM

    Saudi state and non state actors behead Pakistanis regularly for non violent crimes. Yemen is in civil war and they have not attacked Saudi Kingdom. Yet the Kingdom has invaded and killed many by bombing their population centers. The question to defend the Kingdom would come when it is invaded. For now it is only one way aggression. Recommend

  • Mirza
    Mar 28, 2015 - 12:10PM

    Saudi and its allies never showed the kind of promptness and force against Al-Qaeda and ISIS that they are showing against Yemen’s citizens. While the Houtis have the upper hand to drive out the ISIS and Al-Qaeda, Saudi’s cannot tolerate that. They want to create another Syria all over again where by weakening Asad ISIS gained strength. Recommend

  • turi
    Mar 28, 2015 - 1:08PM

    Pakistan should work for unity of Umah nor to indulge in sectarian crises. We have already paid a lot for others war- US NATO war on Afghistan. We should work of our own country reforms.Recommend

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