Yemen crisis: Pakistan, Turkey agree to stand by Riyadh, says PM Nawaz

Published: April 3, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP CAA officials stand at the airport to welcome the stranded Pakistanis back home. PHOTO: CAA

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Friday that Saudi Arabia is Pakistan’s close friend and the government attaches great importance to its security and territorial integrity.

He said both Pakistan and Turkey had close relations with Saudi Arabia, agreeing to standby Riyadh in its hour of need.

“We have agreed to extend all possible support for the defence of Saudi Arabia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” said Nawaz.

During a meeting held with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Ankara, the premier said Pakistan was seriously concerned about the deteriorating situation in Yemen.

“We must make all possible efforts to resolve this issue,” PM Nawaz said.

Davutoglu said Turkey was maintaining contacts with Saudi Arabia, saying both Pakistan and Turkey were ready to play their role for bringing stability in the region.

PHOTO COURTESY: ABDUL MANAN

Speaking about the stranded Pakistanis, the prime minister said the safety and security of the nationals in Yemen is Pakistan’s major priority. He confirmed that their safe evacuation is underway.

PHOTO COURTESY: ABDUL MANAN

PM Nawaz had arrived in Turkey early morning on a one-day trip to discuss the Yemen situation and decide on the kind of roles the two countries can play in resolving the developing situation in the Arabian peninsula.

Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs and National Security Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant on Foreign Affairs Tariq Fatimi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry accompanied the premier.

In his departure statement, he had said that Pakistan believes in finding a peaceful solution to the Yemen conflict in a bid to promote unity among Muslims.

The prime minister said he hoped that serious diplomatic efforts can help restore peace, security and harmony in the Middle East.

176 stranded Pakistanis arrived home

Stranded Pakistanis arrived in Islamabad from Yemen in a special flight on Friday afternoon, Express News reported.  

Forty-five of the passengers reached Karachi later in the evening.

Speaking to the media at the Islamabad Airport, Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said that there are around 300-350 more stranded Pakistanis in Sanaa and Mukalla.

“If we are allowed to send a flight to them, we will definitely do so,” Asif said.

He further added that the integrity of Saudi Arabia will be protected at all costs and the government will do everything it can.

Further, Asif said that it is the prime minister’s commitment to bring all  stranded Pakistanis back home.

Screengrab of stranded Pakistanis arriving home.

Related: Yemen crisis: Nawaz to confer with Turkish leadership

A day earlier, the 176 Pakistanis were taken to Djibouti through a Chinese ship.

Parliament session

On the advice of PM Nawaz, President Mamnoon Hussain has summoned a joint session of Parliament on April 6, Express News reported.

During the Parliament session, the Yemen situation will be discussed.

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Reader Comments (25)

  • Jibran
    Apr 3, 2015 - 11:14AM

    Shuttle diplomacy is the job of a Foreign Minister, and so is the visit of a country on a short notice. So basically, it is not the PM Nawaz Sharif, but the Foreign Minister Nawaz Sharif who is going to Turkey.

    In either case, I doubt very much his diplomatic, negotiating, and leadership credentials. He is just a small time trader, who needs a parchee for the talking points. More important is the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to look at.Recommend

  • raider
    Apr 3, 2015 - 12:18PM

    Pm s’ obsession with Saudis is even more than his citizens and royals, Saudis and Yemen are at war, but it seems that Pakistan is at war with anonymous. there has been none a minister of foreign affairs right from oath ceremony of this Govt to date, whole economic of country revolve around ishaq dar which has never been an icon at any national or international forum rather has been charge sheeted for money laundering earlier with his cronies, pm plz left us alone. Change leadership of pmln to peruse essence of real democracy in Pakistan otherwise a spring in Pakistan is nigh what is deterrence to that spring to date, none else but Pakistan s army Recommend

  • riz
    Apr 3, 2015 - 12:20PM

    great job doing by PM; Recommend

  • raider
    Apr 3, 2015 - 12:22PM

    parchi pm with nil international exposure and vision would not even be a jack of all tradesRecommend

  • raider
    Apr 3, 2015 - 12:42PM

    @riz:
    what job; “sar spata”Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 3, 2015 - 2:38PM

    Great job PM and federal government. Some “People” are born with intrinsic jealousy and would only be satisfied when junkies and drug addicts become Prime Minister of Pakistan. To all such dimwits……Burnol please.

    “Mahnat Kar Hasad na Kar.”Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 3, 2015 - 2:50PM

    Cries, moans and a stench of something burning is emanating from Banigala right now.Recommend

  • Apr 3, 2015 - 3:14PM

    ” He further added that the integrity of Saudi Arabia will be protected at all costs and the government will do everything it can.” —–

    Where is the threat for the integrity of Saudi Arabia. Currently KSA is in the role of aggressor and not the defender. Excuse given by foreign minister is rubbish and to fool the domestic audience.
    This is a proxy war between KSA and Iran . Nawaz Sharif and Raheel shariff both have weighed the pros and cons for taking sides. Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 3, 2015 - 4:16PM

    Fights in the middle are mostly about the proxy wars of two of the most extremist countries in the Islamic World, Saudi & Iran..Iran supported the militia in Iraq and got the govt there despite being in minority. It has performed similar roles in Lebanon & Syria (recently). Now when they tried it again in Yemen, the Saudi have shown retaliation. Same goes for Saudis what they did in Egypt, supported militia in Syria…
    .
    Its a mess created by these two and the rest of the muslim world is just their victims..Why isnt Turkey or Indonesia or Malaysia arent this stupid to take sides between them. ?? Recommend

  • Waqar Omar
    Apr 3, 2015 - 5:32PM

    @Jibran:
    Plot twist: Prime Minister is also Pakistan’s foreign minister. Stop whining already. Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 3, 2015 - 7:11PM

    Words are not enough. Time is running out. We must send troops to protect Saudi Arabia from external aggression.

    @whitesky: Iranian proxies ‘Houthis” are a great threat to Saudi Arabia. As we cannot tolerate enemy agents in Afghanistan, similarly Saudi Arabia will never tolerate any Iranian agent taking control of its neighbour. More importantly, If Saudi Arabia does not remove Houthis now and install a legitimate strong government in Yemen, in near future IS will destroy Houthis and fill the vacuum. Hope you know what IS does to its neighbours.. Recommend

  • Grace
    Apr 3, 2015 - 7:28PM

    @Ali: The haters can hate but our PM is doing what is pragmatic and sensible. Millions of Pakistanis work in the Gulf and in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan has to look after its own interests and if that means standing by its friends in the Middle East so be it. This is the real world. Iran can support Syria’s Asad and Houthis in Yemen or anyone else but Pakistan has to support whoever is helping Pakistan prosper and who is giving Pakistanis jobs.Recommend

  • awais ahmad
    Apr 3, 2015 - 7:35PM

    Ya Allah please save us from this stupid Prime Minister.

    He is dragging our country to a war against other Muslims, just to protect family of saud and his industry in saudia.Recommend

  • raider
    Apr 3, 2015 - 7:42PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    oh,,what about you talk, we know our pmRecommend

  • awais ahmad
    Apr 3, 2015 - 9:12PM

    All of you, please go ahead and watch interviews of people returning to Pakistan from Yemen, They are not just rebels, they are basically combination of opposition parties who have been demanding a fair election for the past 2 years. But since the president was a Saudi proxy, and has done nothing for the betterment of Yemeni people, Rebels are left with no choice but to put him down. Yemeni people have the right to stand up for what is fair for them. Everyone supported Morsi in Egypt, then why not these so called rebels. And they are not actually rebels as i quoted before. These are political parties in opposition. Since the word Rebel is going in favor of our Saudi masters, so that is why everyone is using that word.

    And i just saw a comment from someone, that Nawaz is right in helping Saudis because we have millions of Pakistanis working in Saudia. This comment is so vague. that means a job in Saudi Arabia is more important than a human life. Killing our Muslim brothers just to keep jobs in Saudia ?

    As long as Yemeni keep their revolution in their country, which they are. There is no point of attacking them. Saudis clearly want to put their regime in Yemen, which i don’t support. No one is attacking Saudis.

    And please stop justifying saudi act in yemen.Recommend

  • KK Kool
    Apr 3, 2015 - 9:29PM

    This is the best opportunity with Turkey and Pakistan to unite Saudi and Iran. I believe these are the four muslim nation with intact military. If they involve in any fight, they will be hitting on their own foot which is very much expected. If they fight then this is going to be the end of muslim world that was what west needs at the moment. Chaos in muslim world. I pray that sanity prevails. Recommend

  • Zafar Iqbal
    Apr 3, 2015 - 11:00PM

    Weldone Pakistan. Time to stand up and be counted. Must rise to the occasion. Friend to Friend. Friends must always be remembered what the have done for our Country. And we must stand by our friends in their hour of need.

    Not helping one’s friend would be poor integrity. Wish we had done the same in 1991 when Benazir run to US ambassador asking instructions about Saudi request,,,and the Aslam Baig with his clownish mind refused to support later PM Nawaz Sharif.

    We pray and play and if need be use force to keep peace in the region.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Apr 3, 2015 - 11:36PM

    @awais ahmad:
    If Pakistanis living in Yemen had any sense and aware of the situation, they would not have put themselves in such trouble and given all of us so much tension. Therefore we should not believe them at all. The Yemeni situation is very complex and no party including Saudi Arabia is innocent but rest of the world in general and Pakistanis in particular should watch their own interests. Recommend

  • Raj
    Apr 4, 2015 - 12:49AM

    Once all Hindus, now religious enslaved by Islam – the current population of Pakistan, has no independent thought or direction. You all are enslaved for good.Recommend

  • lancersboy
    Apr 4, 2015 - 3:31AM

    The comments by worthy commentators smell of the sectarian divide within Pakistan,could we remove the sectarian caps on our heads and do a cool and calculative analysis through rationality.Neither Pakistan is Saudi proxy nor an Iranian surrogate child,we are a nation of 180 million with lot of military power and a budding demographic pool of intelligent and hardworking youth.The mere fact that both Iran and KSA have been courting Pakistan for support speaks of our decisive weight in the Middle East.May be some of us don’t appreciate it as a factor in power play in the Islamic World.Our interests with Middle East go beyond presence of three million expats in the region and their contribution to the economic well being of Pakistan as well as the Gulf States. Pakistanis are also emotionally and rightfully attached to the two Holy Mosques and the fact that we and the Middle Eastern region are inseparable(Iran included).Can we afford to allow three million expats kicked out of the Middle East as it happened in Libya and now Yemen,or we need to make the best out of this situation.Where as Pakistan’s strategic weight will become decisive in this conflict,Pakistan should weigh her options with pragmatism and prudence.Foreign and Security policies are not held hostage to rhetoric by the religious leaders and their proxies nor developed through a Barber Shop gossip on the media.If the GOP takes a decision,all Pakistanis should support it irrespective of the sectarian cap you and me wear.Recommend

  • Aliya
    Apr 4, 2015 - 4:01AM

    Where is our opposition? Can they ever oppose on something important? Have we not learnt our lessons from before or are we in a perpetual cycle of stupidity? Why is there no debate in civil society when we are going to War with another muslim country. Recommend

  • Apr 4, 2015 - 5:09AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad: The perception that ” As we cannot tolerate enemy agents in Afghanistan, similarly Saudi Arabia will never tolerate any Iranian agent taking control of its neighbour.” ——-.
    So We as well as Saudi Arabia want to control our weak neighbouring country. Then where is the so called threat to the integrity of Saudi Arabia. Yemen is much much smaller in terms of financial as well as fire power in comparison to Saudi Arabia and have shown no indication of any strike to KSA . That is why I call that excuse of protecting KSA’s integrity is rubbish and eye wash. Houthis and other opposition parties are demanding reforms in all walks of their life including political reforms which is consistently ignored by the yemeni president . Iran grabbed this opportunity and fanned their anguish and also supported them with ammunition. The problem lies with the mindset to control the neighbouring country.
    The aerial strike in Yeman is without any approval from UN and lately it is going to be condemned by many countries as aggression of KSA once civilian lives and property gets destroyed. This conflicts will stretch longer and taking sides will ultimately harm us in longer perspective.Recommend

  • Apr 4, 2015 - 9:48AM

    @Ch. Allah Daad:
    You are your parchi PM’s intellect are same!Recommend

  • Mulana Diesel
    Apr 4, 2015 - 10:35AM

    Mr PM please don’t save your business in the kingdom. Try and understand the situation. Yemen has no power to attack the kingdom.Recommend

  • Wassim
    Apr 4, 2015 - 11:32PM

    Turkey is smarter than us, all Turkey wants to do is help it construction industry and exports. We are driven by sentimental reasons of friendship. We must calculate what benefits we gain from attacking Yemen, and we must demand that the Saudis pay us big time for our support. Otherwise we must keep out. Recommend

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