DUBAI: The UAE has strongly condemned a Pakistani decision to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, rejecting Saudi demands for Islamabad to join its military coalition against Houthi rebels.
“The Arabian Gulf is in a dangerous confrontation, its strategic security is on the edge, and the moment of truth distinguishes between the real ally and the ally of media and statements,” Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash tweeted after a unanimous resolution passed by a special session of Pakistan’s parliament.
The resolution, however, backed the government’s commitment to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory, which has so far not been threatened by the conflict.
Gargash said Pakistan is required to show a clear stand in favour of its strategic relations with the six-nation Arab Gulf cooperation Council, as contradictory and ambiguous views on this serious matter will have a heavy price to pay.
“This is nothing but another chapter of laggard impartial stand,” Gargash said, criticising identical views held by Turkey and Iran about the armed conflict in Yemen, as affirmed by the Turkish foreign minister, who had said a political way out of the crisis is the responsibility of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tehran seems to be more important to Islamabad and Ankara than the Gulf countries, Gargash added. “Though our economic and investment assets are inevitable, political support is missing at critical moments,” Gargash said.
“The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan and Turkey are an absolute proof that Arab security — from Libya to Yemen — is the responsibility of none but Arab countries, and the crisis is a real test for neighbouring countries.”
The Pakistan parliament resolution turned down long-standing ally Riyadh’s request for troops, ships and warplanes, saying: “Pakistan should play a mediating role and not get involved in fighting in Yemen.”
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al Shaikh, who is also chairman of the senior scholars authority has called for military conscription of youth.
Shaikh Abdul Aziz said: “We must prepare our youth properly to become a shield for us in the holy war against the enemies of religion and the nation.”