PM seeks guidance from Parliament on Yemen crisis

PMSays Pakistan and Turkey in close contact to find diplomatic solution to crisis

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has said that Pakistan and Turkey are in close contact with each other to find amicable solution to the Middle East crisis.

Speaking at the joint session of the Parliament in Islamabad Tuesday, he said the Turkish President held talks with Saudi Interior Minister Prince Naif and he is expected to hold a meeting with the Iranian President today.

He said the Turkish President is likely to take him into confidence on these talks and then a future course of action will be decided.

The Prime Minister said that Iran should review its policy with regards to Yemen. He said that we will also contact the leadership of Indonesia and Malaysia on the matter.

The Prime Minister assured the House that the government will formulate its policy on the Middle East crisis keeping in view the sentiments of the elected representatives.

He said the government has hidden nothing from the Parliament but this is a sensitive issue and we should take utmost care. He said the eyes of the entire nation are on this House as to what course of action it adopts on the issue.

He said we have also held talks with the military and the Foreign Office is also playing a proactive role.

The Prime Minister particularly asked the Parliamentarians to give their opinion on the demand of Saudi Arabia about dispatch of troops, aircraft and naval ships.  He said more details cannot be disclosed than what the Defence Minister had stated on Monday as we have to be very careful.

Nawaz Sharif categorically said that Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia in case of any threat to its territorial integrity.

Taking part in the debate, the leader of National Party, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said the government should pursue the course of diplomacy and dialogue for peaceful solution of Yemen crisis.

He said dynamics of politics are reshaping in the Middle East and Pakistan should adopt a sagacious approach for better relations with the entire Arab world and Iran.

Amir Jamaat-e-Islami Sirajul Haq said Pakistan, Turkey and Iran should play the role of mediator for peaceful solution of Saudi-Yemen conflict.

He said the recent Middle East conflict is part of a conspiracy hatched by western powers to divide the Arab world.

Sirajul Haq said a parliamentary delegation comprising members from different sects should be formed and sent to different Islamic countries to find an amicable solution of Yemen crisis.

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khurshid Ahmad Shah said the Parliament should take a decision on Yemeni issue in keeping with our national interests.

He said an in-camera session could be convened for more open discussion on the issue.

Senator Mushahid Hussain appreciated the initiative of the government for convening session of the Parliament. He emphasized that the situation in Yemen is not a sectarian conflict and in fact a tribal struggle for power which is going on for the last five decades. He said it has become a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Mushahid Hussain said Pakistanhas very close relations with Saudi Arabia and we feel indebited to Saudi brothers who helped us in difficult times. He said if there is a threat to the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan would have no qualm. However he was of the view that presently there is no threat to sovereignty of Saudi Arabia and Harmain Sharifain.

The Senator said we have keep in view three basic national interests that we are fighting war against terrorism through Operation Zarb e Azb, and until our own house is in order, we should have no engagement abroad and we shouldnot join any intra-arab and intra Muslim wars. Insteadhe said we should work for unity of the MuslimUmmah.

Mushahid Hussain suggested that Pakistan should ask China to summon a meeting of the UN Security Council which should demand for a ceasefire and negotiations for national reconciliation.

He also proposed that Pakistan and Turkey should jointly co host meeting of Saudi andIranian foreign Ministers in Ankara or Islamabad. There shouldbe open talks with Iranian Foreign Minister during his visit to Pakistan and Iran should be clearly told not to intervene in Yemen because Iranian borders are not with Yemen.

He said Saudi Arabia has legitimate security concern about Yemen.

INP

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