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
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