Federal Defence Minister Khawaja Asif shed light on Pakistan’s possible role in the Yemen conflict in the National Assembly by saying that no decision has been taken to participate in the Saudi-led operation against Yemen and said that Pakistan has pledged to guard the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia only. The statement came a day after Pakistan Foreign Office confirmed that Saudi Arabia has contacted Pakistan and requested to join the operation against the Houthi rebels in Yemen.
The Defence Minister also said that Pakistan wants to facilitate dialogue between Muslim countries to resolve their issues instead of aggravating them by participating in any conflict. Saudi Arabia has always stood with Pakistan in the time of need, be it the war of 1965 or 1971. Saudi Arabia also helped Pakistan after the nuclear explosions by India, Pakistan was mulling whether to respond in the same manner and face sanctions, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia offered Pakistan 50,000 barrels a day free oil. Pakistan went ahead with the nuclear tests and the blow of sanctions was cushioned thanks to the help from Saudi Arabia in the form of free oil.
The decision to stand by Saudi Arabia to safeguard the Kingdoms territory is a wise decision, but at the same times it’s a risky one. Pakistan must not become a party to the conflict in anyway. Both parties vying for dominance in Yemen are our brotherly Islamic countries; Pakistan also shares a border with Iran. Pakistan is facing many internal security threats, the operation Zarb e Azb is still ongoing at such a precarious time we must not indulge in any adventure in foreign land which may cause instability in Pakistan. The stance taken by the Government is commendable and we hope that it will adhere to it by restricting its part in the conflict to only defending the Kingdoms territory.