Parliament for neutrality in Yemen conflict

ParliamentUnanimous resolution  only assures to defend Saudi territorial integrity

ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers from both houses of Parliament on Friday passed a unanimous resolution on the crisis in Yemen, urging Pakistan to stay neutral in the conflict. The resolution falls short of Saudi expectations, a long-time ally Pakistan, for military assistance in the operation.  The Kingdom had asked Pakistan to provide ground troops, aircraft and naval ships for its security on urgent basis.

Although implying that Islamabad should refrain from assisting Riyadh militarily, the resolution added that Pakistan should stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia to protect the latter’s territorial integrity. No direct clarity was provided on whether Pakistan would, or would not involve itself militarily at any point.

The 12 point resolution, which was passed following five days of debate during joint sitting of two houses of parliament.The resolution also urges Pakistan to play its diplomatic roles in resolving the crisis, while also calling for the country not to take sides and stay neutral in the conflict.

The resolution also calls for urging the United Nations Security Council and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to bring a ceasefire among warring factions in war-torn Yemen.

Key points of the resolution were agreed upon during a consultative meeting of all parliamentary parties called by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq before the start of the session.

The resolution noted that the war in Yemen “is not sectarian in nature but has the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict which will have a critical fallout in the region including Pakistan.”

Expressing serious concerns on the deteriorating security situation in Yemen and its implications, Parliament called upon “warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue”.

The resolution also noted that the crisis in Yemen “could plunge the entire region into turmoil”.

Calling for further efforts to promote unity among Muslim countries, it urged Pakistan to “maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able play a diplomatic role to end the crisis.”

Expressing “deep concern at the increasing threat posed by terrorists and non-state actors”, the resolution urged the government of Pakistan to initiate steps through the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) to bring about a ceasefire in Yemen.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also present in the House when the resolution was adopted.

A draft of the resolution was read out by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar before it was passed unanimously by all members of the Senate and National Assembly attending the session.

According to reports, the PTI opposed the presentation of the resolution by Defence Minister Khawaja Mohammad Asif and said it would support the resolution ifit was read out by some other Minister.

INP

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