Iran should be involved in Yemen debate, says PM

The Yemen issue is very sensitive and we did not call the joint session to manipulate the mandate, says PM


Web Desk April 07, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

ISLAMABAD: The joint session of Parliament to discuss whether Pakistan should join the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen to quell the Houthi militia reconvened on Tuesday and is underway.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is also attending the session.

Not a single MP has spoken in favour of sending troops to Yemen.



1:51pm: Government will never give a 'blunt no' to Saudi Arabia

Senator Farhatullah Babar addresses the session following a short break and requests that more concrete suggestions should be provided about how to respond to Saud Arabia's request.

"We will be able to honour their request to a certain extent, but Pakistan should not allow itself to be sucked in a war in a distant land," he says.



12:52pm: Iran should be involved in Yemen debate, says PM

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called on Iran to get involved in a debate on security in Yemen as Parliament resumed its session.

"Iran should also join the discussion and evaluate whether their policy is correct or not," the premier said.

Adressing the Parliament says he was inspired by Senator Mushahid Hussain’s speech.

“The Yemen issue is very sensitive and we did not call the joint session to manipulate the mandate,” he says.

The premier further adds "before taking any decision we want to take the mandate of the Parliament.”

He further claims that he is waiting for a response from the Turkish president, after which talks will be held.

“The Parliament’s mandate will earnestly be considered in the country’s national plan on Yemen," he concludes.



12:40pm: Yemen is like quick sand, nobody can win

PML- Q Senator Mushahid Hussain addressing the Assembly assures that is not a sectarian war but in fact a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

"This is a Yemeni civil war and there is no doubt that we are indebted to Saudi Arabia and will protect them if their territorial integrity comes under threat," says Hussain.

Since 1947, Pakistan has played the negotiating role and has never taken part in any proxy or civil war, he adds.

"The first and foremost duty of Pakistan and its government is to protect it national security. It must first protect its own people," he continues.

In terms of sending troops into Yemen, the senator says that 40 per cent of Pakistan's Army are involved in operations within Pakistan. Sending troops into another country's conflict would distract our troops and become a threat to our national security.

The senator suggests that Pakistan should ask their Chinese counterparts to ask for dialogue and seize fire in Yemen leading to their elections.



12:30pm: ANP calls for negotiating peace

Pakistan should help in negotiating peace rather than taking active part in the Yemen war, says ANP's Ghulam Ahmed Bilour.

"Entering the war in Yemen will allow for the rise of conflict within Pakistan," he says.



12:13pm: Saudi request for jets

Riyadh is said to have asked for Pakistani troops as well as fighter jets and navy vessels for logistic support. Though the Pakistani authorities have not turned down the request, they are weighing their options for fulfilling it, sources said.

Read: Give and take: After Saudi requests, Pakistan devising its own wish-list

Following Saudi's request, the top civil-military leadership of Pakistan is said to have decided to join the regional alliance along with Turkey to support the Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm, while the PML-N led government is trying to work out how the country could benefit from the alliance.

Read: Yemen turmoil: Pakistan, Turkey to launch shuttle diplomacy

Protests were held by civil society and rights activists on Monday against the government's decision to send troops to fight along the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Read: Saudi-Yemen conflict: Civil society calls for restraint, neutrality 

COMMENTS (11)

Mohsin Raza Khan | 6 years ago | Reply Please let us not get involved in Yemen. Its not going to be easy to refuse the Saudi request for help, Its one thing to send instructors to train Saudi troops and to help out with materiel and ammunition, but our government should draw the line on sending our boys to fight and maybe die in a foreign land. The blood of our brave youngsters is too precious to shed for anyone but Pakistanis. Moreover Iran, our immediate neighbour will not take too kindly to our involvement on the peninsula.There is a lot of potential for trade between our two countries once sanctions are lifted. We need to find a way out of this difficult position the Saudi's have put us in without offending them, but if need be we should put our foot down. The lives of our boys should not be put on the line for a cause such as this
Raj - USA | 6 years ago | Reply I am impressed. Very sensible debate indeed. Pakistan should stay out completely and not even try to be a mediator or try to bring in Iran in the debate. Above all, I would say again, Saudis should not have even asked for Pakistan to get involved.
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