SHAFAQNA – Following news on Friday that Pakistan would not send troops to Yemen to fight on behalf of Saudi Arabia, the kingdom reacted to the news with a great amount of bile and rancour.
After Saudi Arabia on April 1st, 2015 officially called on Islamabad to mobilize tens of thousands of its military against remuneration – $25,000 per soldier sources have claimed – Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif turned to parliament for an answer.
On Friday Parliament officially decline to indulge Saudi Arabia in its war against Yemen, arguing that such move would only destabilize its own nation and create a rift within its religious communities.
On Monday, Pakistan’s defense minister, Khawaja Muhammad Asif, said Saudi Arabia had requested that Pakistan send troops, ships and warplanes to help it battle the Iranian-backed rebels in Yemen. But several Pakistani political leaders were strongly opposed to the request, saying the crisis in Yemen didn’t pose an immediate threat to Saudi Arabia.
Instead, the resolution approved by Parliament warned that the Yemen crisis “could plunge the region into turmoil” if a negotiated peace and settlement is not reached soon.
“This bombing needs to be stopped, because as long as this is happening, the peace process can’t be launched,” Mohsin Khan Leghari, a Pakistani senator, said Friday on the floor of Parliament.
By choosing to stay neutral in the Yemen conflict, Pakistan is likely to test the country’s strategic and cultural relationship with one of its oldest allies.
In reaction to Pakistan’ snub Riyadh resorted to turning away a Pakistani plane, alleging it had not the proper authorizations and licences.
Experts now believe that Pakistan could increasingly side with Iran, as Saudi Arabia ‘s irrational behavior and political tantrum are tiring its allies in the region.