LAHORE – At a seminar organized by Safma focusing on the Dilemma of Pak Military involvement in the Saudi offensive against Yemen (the limits and extent of Pak military engagement in Arabian Peninsula) today at its auditorium, speakers were unanimous in their views that Pakistan should stay out of this conflict. It should rather play the role of a mediator in the peace process.
On the occasion, veteran political analyst Dr Waseem said that there is an almost informal consensus in society that we should not get involved. However, the dilemma is that the government is not taking into account the views of its supporters and voters. No doubt, on different occasion in the past, Saudi Arabia has been supporting Pakistan, however, its involvement in Saudi offensive against Yemen is not going to pacify the conflict.
Leading journalist Ahmed Rashied said Pakistan has yet to define the issue of Yemen and its own national interests. Since this issue emerged, there is no clear State policy. Our foreign office has been confusing the public by giving confusing statement every other day. In light of our national interests, Pakistan needs to define a policy based on its self interest. A failure in that will be the failure of our State. He also said the Saudi threat perception from Yemen’s internal conflict makes no sense. The real threat to Saudi Arabia and the whole Middle East is Daish.
Former foreign minister Khushied Mehmood Kasuri, while welcoming the debate in parliament, said the government is yet to table a resolution over this issue in parliament. However, he feared that the PML-N led government is not in a position to decide this matter on its own. Whatever is going to be decided will ultimately be the military’s call. He said, Pakistan in the past, during his tenure in the foreign office too, pushed Iran against the wall on certain issues following the policies of the world’s big powers. However, now it was time for Pakistan to rise above the inadequacies of its previous policy and treat Iran as a brotherly neighbour since both countries share historical, linguistic and cultural ties.
Concluding the moot, SAFMA Secretary General Imtiaz Alam said there is no threat to the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia or sacred religious places from the actions or potential influence of Yemini rebels. By joining the Saudi-led coalition, Pakistan cannot afford to get involved in a fratricidal war with great consequences for the unity of the country and across the Muslim world.
At the end, the house unanimously passed a resolution at the seminar urging the government to keep off from the conflict and involve United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to mediate the conflict i.e., peaceful resolution of the civil war in Yemen. The main threat to the peace and security of the Middle East is from the extremist religious outfits, such as Daish and al Qaeda and both Iran and Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries should join hands in defeating the scourge of terrorism. The resolution cautioned that if this war continues, Yemen could be divided with wider repercussions for Arabian Peninsula. The resolution called for the government to adopt a transparent policy, take the parliament in confidence and avoid jumping in the fire of a war far away from us. They cautioned both Saudi Arabia and Iran not to promote proxy wars against each other.
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