Parliament decides to remain neutral in Saudi-led Yemen war

Published: April 10, 2015
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Parliamentarians are expected to unanimously decide over joining Saudi-led coalition to quell Houthi militia. PHOTO: APP

Parliamentarians are expected to unanimously decide over joining Saudi-led coalition to quell Houthi militia. PHOTO: APP

ISLAMABAD: Parliament on Friday urged the government to stay out of the conflict in Yemen where the Saudi-led coalition is bombing Huthi rebels.

A unanimous resolution passed by a special joint session of Parliament backed the government’s commitment to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory, which has so far not been threatened by the conflict.

But it said Pakistan should play a mediating role.

The motion came after five days of debate on the Yemen crisis, in which the majority of lawmakers urged Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif not to send Pakistani forces to join the fight.

Pakistan has pushed diplomatic efforts in the past week, holding talks with Turkish and Iranian officials to try to forge a way ahead.

Friday’s resolution urged the government to begin work in the UN Security Council and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation bloc to bring about a ceasefire.

1:30pm

Below is the text from the draft resolution:

  1. Appreciates the decision of the Government to call the Joint Sitting of Parliament to consider Pakistan’s response to the crisis in Yemen;
  2. Expresses serious concern on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Yemen and its implications for peace and stability of the region and supports all humanitarian initiatives aimed at bringing relief to the people caught in the conflict;
  3. Calls upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolves their differences peacefully through dialogue;
  4. Appreciates the arrangements made by the Government for the safe and swift evacuation of Pakistanis and nationals of many other countries from Yemen and expresses its gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for its contribution in the regards;
  5. Apprehends that the crisis in Yemen could plunge the region into turmoil;
  6. Supports regional and international efforts for restoration of peace and stability in Yemen;
  7. Underscores the need for continued efforts by the Government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis, while promoting the unity of Muslim Ummah, in cooperation with the leaders of other Muslim countries;
  8. Desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a   proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis;
  9. Urges the Muslim Ummah and the international community to intensify their efforts to promote peace in Yemen;
  10. Expresses unequivocal support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and affirms that in case of any violation of its territorial integrity or any threat to Haramain Sharifain, Pakistan will stand shoulder with Saudi Arabia and its people;
  11. Expresses  deep concern at the increasing threats posed by different terrorist groups and non-state actors to the security and stability of the region and advises the Government of Pakistan to enhance its friendship and cooperation with the GCC and all other regional countries in combating extremism and terrorism;
  12. Desires that the Government of Pakistan initiate steps to move the UN Security Council and the OIC to bring about an immediate ceasefire in the Yemen.

12:55pm

According to Radio Pakistan, the resolution states: “Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi brethren in case of any threat to its territorial integrity”.

The resolution urges government to move the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to bring about an immediate ceasefire in Yemen.

“Pakistan and other Islamic countries should work together for peaceful resolution of issue while promoting unity of Muslim Ummah,” the resolution further adds.

12:33pm

As per the resolution, Pakistan will remain neutral in Yemen war and play an active role in mediating peace, Express News reports.

The resolution was adopted unanimously by the Lower House.

12:30pm

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar presents resolution on Yemen crisis in the National Assembly.

12:07pm

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan will not be attending the joint sitting, Express News reports.

11:56pm

Pakistan Peoples Party’s Ayaz Soomro says Pakistan has always played a leadership role in Muslim community.

“Pakistan can play the role of a mediator in the current Middle East crisis,” Soomro says.

The lawmaker says PM Nawaz, along with the ministers should visit various Muslim countries in order to defuse the tension in the Middle East, Radio Pakistan reported.

11:49am

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has summoned a meeting of parliamentary leaders of various political parties today to give them an in-camera briefing on the Yemen conflict and develop a consensus on the resolution draft presented in the joint session of parliament, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.

Read more here.

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Reader Comments (38)

  • Observer
    Apr 10, 2015 - 12:39PM

    Where are NS haters now?Recommend

  • Waqar Omar
    Apr 10, 2015 - 12:42PM

    Hats off to Prime Minister and the parliament!Recommend

  • ProPeace
    Apr 10, 2015 - 12:43PM

    Finally, common sense prevails.Recommend

  • Apr 10, 2015 - 12:49PM

    Excellent decision!Recommend

  • Waqar Omar
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:05PM

    @Observer:
    Since it’s a good move, they’ll say it’s Army Chief’s decision. :DRecommend

  • nadeem
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:20PM

    This is better than the one-phone-call and one-window-operation provided by military dictators in the past to foreign powers.Recommend

  • Apr 10, 2015 - 1:21PM

    @Waqar Omar:
    It was Army Chief’s decision! ;)Recommend

  • SK
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:22PM

    Sensible decision. The interest and safeguard of Pakistan should be foremost. Pakistan Zindabad.Recommend

  • Sami
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:24PM

    Good decision by Parliament and Government too. But, It is Parliament that lessen the burdon of Saudies over NS shoulders.Recommend

  • Haider
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:26PM

    That’s a great move.We all know what were NS plans before but this would have given lot of negitivity to him…NS certainly doing what IK says……What NS said before…” A strong response from Pakistan if theat to Saudia’s territory”….Pakistan has already lost so much in fighting other people’s war..Not any moreRecommend

  • great
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:41PM

    This is the best decision of 2015. Pakistan Zindabad!Recommend

  • Nauman
    Apr 10, 2015 - 1:59PM

    If Nawaz had his way, he would have already sent forces to Saudi. Parliament stopped him mainly, PTI, PPP and of course ARMY CHIEF.Recommend

  • Anon
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:00PM

    @Observer: Dont count your chickens just yet…Recommend

  • Pakistani
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:01PM

    Much to NS’s disappointment.Recommend

  • Aziz
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:17PM

    It is better to have wise enemies than foolish friends.

    Pakistani parliament has genuinely tamed the urge of some of our opportunist politicians for a military adventurism with unknown consequences in terms of lives, costs and duration of the conflict.Recommend

  • IGK
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:17PM

    The beauty of democracy – if Pakistan was a kingdom anyone could imagine the outcome…..Recommend

  • Zubair
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:29PM

    @Observer:
    I am willing to give credit to Mr. Sahif but limited one…Because, media, public and parliamenterians pushed him so much to surrender his personal wish before the parlaiment. If it was his discretion, I am sure he was going to send the army.Recommend

  • Luqman
    Apr 10, 2015 - 2:41PM

    PAKISTAN will pay a heavy price for not saborting the ummah.Once yemen is clear ummah will rule over pakistan as doing for 1500 yrs.Recommend

  • Neutralist
    Apr 10, 2015 - 3:11PM

    There is a huge contradiction of words and actions on the part of Government of Pakistan. The timings of joint military exercises namely, “Al- Samsam 5” of Pakistan and KSA in the southern parts of kingdom may give birth to suspicions, especially after the reports of casualities during the exercises. Pakistan should immidiately call back the troops dispatched for training. In addition to that, rueters reported that Pakistan committed 15 fighter planes for saudi intervention. Government should clarify its position instead of taking decision behind the doors and in-camera meetings.Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Apr 10, 2015 - 3:47PM

    @Nauman:

    Lollzzzz…..wow, what a logic you have come up with! PTI’s one end of the leash is in the hands of PML-N and this leash can be yanked whenever Nawaz Sharif wishes. Please do remember that it was PML-N that allowed PTI the ignominious entry into parliament otherwise the issuance of JC ordinance could have been delayed by a week and PTI would have never got the chance to present it’s point of view.

    Any how, this joint session was a farce to begin with and the whole exercise was put in place to welcome PTI back into parliament, especially by Khawaja Asif :DRecommend

  • Apr 10, 2015 - 4:37PM

    @Adnan Siddiqi:
    Looks like you have again stopped taking your medication!Recommend

  • Proud Pakistani
    Apr 10, 2015 - 4:39PM

    Rewind fourteen years, can we now imagine what would have happened if there was a Parliament to debate our participation in the US led War on Terror? There is a reason imperialist countries like dictatorships and this is the prime example. No one is debating the issue in Egypt because there is no forum for it. Not that we are any less dependent on Saudi-US aid.

    Shows in 2001 we could have stayed neutral or negotiated better terms and no country could have sanctioned Pakistan for it.

    Long live democratic Pakistan!Recommend

  • Shahid Malik
    Apr 10, 2015 - 4:53PM

    Correct approach. Pakistan should never interfere in any country’s internal power struggle. The House of Sauds is committing war crime by bombing Yemen. The state of Saudi Arabia is dear to us. Pakistan must support its territorial integrity but we must not be party to any internal power struggle in Saudi Arabia between the House of Sauds and their opponents. In fact, if Saudi Arabia opts for a democratic option, it will be a heartening sign.
    Still, those who can play a role in Pakistan’s decision making must be careful & watch that any personal obligation between the houses of Sauds & Sharifs should not be allowed to endanger Pakistan’s vital national interests because an attempt to bypass Parliament’s resolution cannot be ruled out.Recommend

  • mahakaalchakra
    Apr 10, 2015 - 5:01PM

    It is called “GOOD COP and BAD COP” policy. Assembly shows neutrality while troops have been already promised or flown to Saudi kingdom to help their designs on Yemen.Recommend

  • Syed Raza
    Apr 10, 2015 - 5:17PM

    About time Pakistan made a good decision.

    Which Brotherly country has helped us in our War on Terrorists.

    Let Saudi & Iranian to sort this mess out themselves. We are not anyone salavesRecommend

  • Qamber
    Apr 10, 2015 - 5:32PM

    Agreed …!Recommend

  • bahaha
    Apr 10, 2015 - 6:31PM

    DEMOCRACY IS BILINGUAL- to bad for the saudis our Saudi “friends”Recommend

  • Naeem Khan
    Apr 10, 2015 - 8:33PM

    The fact is that we have no dog in this fight, those politicians in Pakistan who owes their loyalty to the Saud family should send their own kids and grand kids to fight for the Saud family’s adventurism. Saudis has committed aggression against Yemen and let them send their own children to fight and die for. The Saudi plan was to hire the Pakistanis and keep their children safe in their air-conditioned palaces. Saudis are not known for work ethics, they always hire others to do their dirty work.and they could care less if it cost lives because it is not their lives. If they ever got entangled militarily with Iranians , they will get rude awakening of their lives. Pakistan as nation does not owe any thing to the Saud family but the people of Saudi Arabia.Recommend

  • Adil
    Apr 11, 2015 - 1:11AM

    Presently Pakistan is now under full influence of Shia Taqyia(lies) propaganda machine and deviant grave worshippers are running the foreign policy both of these two group causing a big strategical disaster for the country in their enmity of Saudi’s. Shias are committing genocide of Sunnie Muslims all over with the help of Russians and why should Pakistan stay neutral ? Beside the Pakistan’s duty towards fellow Muslims Pakistan is heavily in depth to Saudi for keeping it financially alive all along. If not for Saudi’s Pak army would be licking the dust infrot of Indian forces. Loosers and backstabbers will learn a good lesson. Iran and Hizbolla claim they are Islamic then why they supporting the Asad communist regime in the genocide of Syrian Sunniues? This backstabbing of Pakistan will cost them dearly because Iran will leave them in the middle of any conflict unlike Saudi’s whom they lost for good. When did Iran ever employed millions of Pakistanis even when they were rich ? Shame.Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Apr 11, 2015 - 2:22AM

    I hope Pakistan will still be helping them secretly otherwise this decision will isolate Pakistan from GCC and its only friend KSA and Pakistan will surely see its consequences when they again need external help. Saudi helped Pakistan with everything including the atomic plants, army, wars against India and economy. And this decision will be an open betrayal to the only true friend of Pakistan and it is as if we have said to them that they were fools to help us for 70 years without getting anything in return. Iranian backed rebels are already working in Pakistan and they will also show Pakistan soon that it is raising snakes in its backyard.Recommend

  • Wasim
    Apr 11, 2015 - 10:31AM

    @Adil:
    I think we are all more worried about being under the influence of people like you.

    It would be good for Pakistan to end its dependence on Saudi financing. Time to stand on our own two feet.Recommend

  • Wasim
    Apr 11, 2015 - 10:33AM

    The question to ask is will the government and military respect the parliament’s decision or not?Recommend

  • SH
    Apr 11, 2015 - 11:35AM

    The Arab reaction in a leading UAE daily to our Parliament resolution on Yemeni conflict is headlined as “UAE condemns Pakistan’s vote on Yemen” and that “The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan is an absolute proof that Arab security – from Libya to Yemen – is the responsibility of none but Arab countries”. Although I’m a supporter of sending troops to KSA but the flip side of the Arab’s reaction might lead to the return of Uzair Bloach and the business empire of Pakistani politicians in the Arab world will soon get destroyed.Recommend

  • JL
    Apr 11, 2015 - 11:51AM

    @Adil: I fully support your comments. Pakistani Parliament and Electronic media have proved that 20% shias are deeply routed to influence Iranian agenda. We should have provided some face saving to KSA (by making a symbolic contribution), which had already announced Pakistan as a coalation partner . We are not an economic independent Turkey and should think differently and get ready to face the hardship for 4 million ‘rafiqs’ living in GCC. Perhaps our PM is desperate to stay in power until 2018.Recommend

  • Ashraf
    Apr 11, 2015 - 1:04PM

    “Foreign remittance hit $ 13.3 billion in nine months” was today’s headline. After staying out and not helping KSA & GCC, the trend might start reversing and eat-up the benefits of fall in oil prices. Well done naive Parlamentarains! Money & friendship matter.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 11, 2015 - 4:07PM

    @Naeem Khan:
    The question is not about the dog but the cat which needs to skinned? Pakistani leadership is as usual confused and using the wrong english vocabulary. It has a defense agreement with the Saudi monarchy which is bombing Houthis strategic cities and villages and causing civilian casualties.in support of the runaway President. Pakistan statement of neutrality is a farce since the house of Saud and its allies are not neutral in he yemanese power struggle between the Houthis plus the former President and the current President who made a run for his life and took the refuge in the Saudi asylum city.
    Does Pakistan support or condemn Saudi venture in the neighbouring country or want to sit back but prepared to act in support of the Saudis once the Houthis cross over into the territory of the Saudi Arabia, which they certainly will? It would seem that Pakistan is most likely to become the bogey between the Shia Iran and sunni Saudi Arbia unless it addresses the details of the defense agreement with the Saudis

    Rex Minor.Recommend

  • observer
    Apr 12, 2015 - 7:38AM

    Haven’t we seen this drama before in the case of American drone strikes where the Pak Establishment officially kept claiming it never gave authorization to the Americans while having done exactly that secretly?

    One can’t but avoid a sense of dejavu. Pakistani troops and equipment have already been sent to Saudi Arabia. The two pilots saved by US navy a few days ago off the coast of Yemen were Pakistani air force personnel.

    This official denial charade through the parliament is just for public consumption.Recommend

  • Yousuf
    Apr 12, 2015 - 9:46AM

    Saudi arabia is home to more than 2.5million Pakistanis earning and remitting. Pakistan has been taking aid from Saudi Arabia since decades, that money should be returned and then parliment should come with such resolution. If only Saudi Arabia stops further employment to Pakistanis it will be a setback, not to mentioned that many can be returned from here. Recommend

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