Pakistan welcomes end of Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen

Published: April 22, 2015
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PHOTO: AFP

PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan welcomed on Wednesday Saudi Arabia’s declaration of an end to four weeks of air strikes in Yemen.

“This will pave the way for a political solution to the crisis,” Foreign Office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam said in a statement.

“Pakistan shares the desire of Saudi Arabia for a peaceful settlement of the Yemeni crisis,” she added.

Read: Will of parliament: ‘Stay out of Yemen conflict’

On Tuesday, the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen announced an end to air strikes saying it had eliminated the threat posed by Iran-backed rebels.

Despite the claims of success in a campaign launched by Sunni Arab nations to restore the authority of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, the capital Sanaa remains in rebel hands and fierce clashes continue in the key southern city of Aden.

Read: Yemen resolution misinterpreted, Pakistan does not abandon strategic partners: PM

The coalition said its operations have entered a political phase but left open the option of resuming strikes against the Houthi Shia militia if needed, and added that a naval and air blockade on the strategic country at the tip of the Arabian Peninsula will remain in place.

Iran welcomed the decision to halt the air war, calling it a “step forward” toward resolving the conflict, while there was no immediate reaction from the Houthis.

Hadi, in a televised speech from the Saudi capital where he fled in the face of a rebel advance that triggered chaos and a humanitarian crisis in his country, promised “victory” and vowed “we will soon return to our homeland, to Aden and Sanaa”.

The Saudi defence ministry said the air strikes had managed to “successfully remove threats to Saudi Arabia’s security and that of neighbouring countries” by destroying heavy weaponry and ballistic missiles seized by the Houthis.

Read: Decisive Storm: Saudi-led coalition calls off Yemen operation

The kingdom had asked Pakistan to join the coalition but after days of discussion, the Parliament opted to remain neutral.

Officially, Pakistan said umpteen times that it would not jump into the Yemen fray militarily. However, any violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Saudi Arabia will evoke a strong response from Pakistan – a political euphemism for active military intervention.

Read: Saudi wish-list: Royal expectations unveiled

Pakistan’s stance triggered the ire of United Arab Emirates’ junior foreign minister who warned Pakistan will have to pay a heavy price for its neutrality.

Read: Yemen conflict: Pakistan’s decision is dangerous and unexpected, says UAE foreign minister

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Reader Comments (10)

  • Apr 22, 2015 - 11:21AM

    Well played Pakistan!Recommend

  • Abbas
    Apr 22, 2015 - 11:35AM

    In this matter pakistan always with iran sideRecommend

  • Sonya
    Apr 22, 2015 - 11:54AM

    Highly illogical position of Pakistan, the statement is short of condemning the Saudi aggression, regretting the loss of innocent lives, loss of civil infrastructure and displacement of Yemeni population.Recommend

  • Neutralist
    Apr 22, 2015 - 12:08PM

    Foreign Office remained out of sight when the diplomatic responsibility was to condemn the Saudi aggression towards smaller countries whereas state instruments were busy in gathering suport for joining the Saudi led troops.Recommend

  • B.A.
    Apr 22, 2015 - 12:37PM

    No Abbas, we are on our own side. Because we have had enough taking everyone’s side except our own.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 22, 2015 - 2:56PM

    ran welcomed the decision to halt the air war, calling it a “step forward” toward resolving the conflict, while there was no immediate reaction from the Houthis.

    The Houthis reaction is to stregnthen their toatal control on Yemen while burying the dead from the Saudi bombing of civilians. The coalition showed its divisions, Turkey an Pakistan remain outside the Arab League.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 22, 2015 - 3:02PM

    @Abbas:
    Pakistan duplicity is now exposed, it is not a reliable entity in the international world.

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • 3rdRockFromTheSun
    Apr 22, 2015 - 7:46PM

    Sensibly, Pakistan stayed out of the fray!

    Having said that, what did the Saudis actually achieve? There is no ‘Saudi sponsored’ govt in Sanaa and the Houthis are still active controlling almost half of Yemen? So why the ‘unilateral’ halt in air-strikes? Or was it a case of not having the guts to back it up with Saudi boots on the ground in Yemen!Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Apr 22, 2015 - 8:01PM

    @Rex Minor:
    “@Abbas:
    Pakistan duplicity is now exposed, it is not a reliable entity in the international world.”

    You may call it duplicity, but many others think it is sensibility. By not entering the war, Pakistan has saved the jobs and livelihood of millions of Pakistanis, Indians, Bangladeshis, and others who are working there. Had Pakistan entered this war, it would have certainly spread and brought the war right within Pakistan itself. Just this week, China and Pakistan signed agreements for $46 billion Chinese investments in Pakistan. If Pakistan becomes a war zone, would China go ahead with its investment plans? In fact by, not joining Saudis and arabs, Pakistan may have saved them. It was them who were wrong in the first instance and wanted to continue on their madness. Pakistan not joining them has put fears in them. They may even be thinking in their minds as to if it possible that Pakistan may take the side of Iran? I guess, this is what Saudis are discussing with Nawaz Sharif and Raheel Sharif now.

    Now, would you care to repeat your often repeated claims and admirations of house of sauds, their oil, providing employment to millions, etc., etc.?Recommend

  • objective observer
    Apr 23, 2015 - 2:18AM

    @3rdRockFromTheSun:

    How do you know whether the entire operation wasn’t to test Pakistani loyalty instead? Now they are certain they need to pursue their own nuclear program and more justified in doing so.

    Seems like quite the achievment to me.Recommend

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