Regional crisis: ‘Negotiations with Houthis only way out’

Participants of discussion agree ‘military option’ is not an option.


News Desk June 04, 2015
PHOTO: AFP

The only way to prevent the region from descending into a protracted war is to hold negotiations with Houthi rebels in Yemen, said University of Management and Technology Lahore School of Governance and Society Assistant Professor Raza Naeem. He was talking at the Center for Research and Security Studies on ‘Yemen, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s geo-political crisis; problems, opportunities and road forward’ on Thursday.

He gave a rundown of events preceding the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s bombardment of Houthis militia in Yemen. He was of the view that national dialogue in Yemen failed because it had degenerated into a Saudi-American construct.

London-based Institute for Islamic Strategic Affairs Executive Director Usama Butt argued that the war in Yemen has for all practical reasons become a sectarian conflict with multiple competing interests.

Butt advised Pakistan against isolating itself in the region. “Pakistan being an important leader should reach out to Iran and Saudi Arabia and play a proactive role rather than isolating itself,” he said.

Participants agreed that military option provides no solution to a similar situation.

This logic is flawed and has often failed. All parties must be open to careful and quiet talks rather than placing conditions on others, said former ISI chief Lt Gen (retd) Asad Durrani.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2015.

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