No resolution on Yemen expected in parliament

The government’s spokesman confirmed that no resolution was expected in the session

Abdul Manan April 09, 2015
The government’s spokesman confirmed that no resolution was expected in the session. PHOTO: REUTERS

ISLAMABAD: The government is convinced that it will not get parliamentary backing for its Yemen policy. And this is why it is unlikely to bring a resolution in the joint sitting of parliament which has been debating how to respond to Riyadh’s request for Pakistan’s troops, fighter jets and naval frigates to join the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi rebellion.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will wind up the parliamentary debate on the crisis in the Arabian Peninsula — most probably on Thursday, in the evening session. The government’s spokesman confirmed that no resolution was expected in the session. “The sentiments of the house on the Yemen conflict have become known to the government,” Senator Pervaiz Rashid, the federal information minister, told The Express Tribune.

He went on to add that the prime minister would take an ‘appropriate decision’ in keeping with the sentiments of the house. “There is no need for a parliamentary resolution,” he said, adding that the prime minister might spell out his government’s viewpoint on the matter in his Thursday’s speech.

About the reports of an in-camera briefing to political leaders at an all-party conference (APC), Rashid said the government was willing to brief the political leadership in camera as soon as the Iranian foreign minister concluded his visit to Islamabad.

Sources said the civil-military leadership has agreed to shorten the ongoing joint session of parliament as it could be counter-productive if it lingered on.

Almost all parliamentary parties have opposed the idea of militarily intervening in a ‘distant war’. Not only that, some parliamentarians delivered speeches fraught with diplomatic implications prompting the prime minister to advise caution on the ‘sensitive matter’. Sources said the cynical response of the parliamentary parties has forced the government to change its mind and decide the matter outside parliament.

Sources further said that the civil-military leadership wanted to delay Pakistan’s response to the Saudi wish-list, though Riyadh wants Islamabad to reply within a week. The government, instead, is working on cobbling together a group or committee having representation from Iran, Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic states in order to find a political solution to the Yemen issue.

On Tuesday, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed at a joint news conference in Tehran that “instability, insecurity and war should stop in the entire region”. However, Pakistani sources said Tehran was trying to buy time by responding positively to peace initiatives.

“Tehran wants suspension of the Saudi-led coalition’s air strikes on Houthi positions for at least five months, so that it could reinforce the Houthi rebels,” one source added. The Saudis are amenable to negotiations – but on their own terms which includes reinstatement of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi – a condition apparently not acceptable to Tehran. Sources said Riyadh wanted Islamabad and Ankara to endorse its Yemen mission instead of pushing for a diplomatic solution.

Sources said Pakistan wanted the Saudi-led coalition’s air campaign to prolong so that there was no need for sending ground troops into Yemen. Riyadh would prefer to weaken the Houthi rebels as much as it could until it had the edge in the Yemen conflict.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2015.


Gp65 | 6 years ago | Reply Ah so Nawaz thought no one will dare to speak against help to Saudi Arabia, so by asking the Parliament's opinion, he can have his way without people blaining him for pushing Pakistan into a foreign war due to his personal relationship, to his dismay, things have not turned out as he expected. So now having asked the parliament for its wisdom, and received it it in bo unambiguous terms, he will ignore the Parliament's sentiment and do the exact opposite, if 'sources' cited here are go be believed? By the way, as an Indian, I am impressed by the Pakistan parliament for the first time. These parliamentarians are thinking of Pakistan first. Good show.
Gp65 | 6 years ago | Reply @Saaqib: "We should support Saudi as we know from the past history its clear that Iran is involve in this current middle east situation & somehow immediately they got permision for nuclear wow." They got permission for nuclear program? You clearly do not understand the agreement which has been reached between P5+1 and Iran.
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