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Opposition huddle demands APC over Yemen crisis

Updated April 01, 2015

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MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that the government is flying solo on the issue. ─ DawnNews screengrab
MQM leader Farooq Sattar said that the government is flying solo on the issue. ─ DawnNews screengrab
Sherry Rehman reads out the joint declaration following the meeting.─ DawnNews screengrab
Sherry Rehman reads out the joint declaration following the meeting.─ DawnNews screengrab

KARACHI: A joint resolution read at the end of an opposition parties' meeting held on Wednesday to discuss the situation in Yemen called for a peaceful solution to the ongoing crisis in the Middle East, and demanded that the government hold an All Parties Conference (APC) before taking a stance on the issue.

The meeting, chaired by former president Asif Ali Zardari, was held at Bilawal House and attended by representatives from the Pakistan Peoples' Party (PPP), Awami National Party (ANP), Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-F (JUI-F).

PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman, while reading out the joint declaration, said the government should summon an APC and a joint Parliament session to formulate the nation’s stance on the critical matter.

Also speaking on the occasion, PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari said dialogue on the issue was the need of the hour. He urged all stakeholders to sit together to resolve their differences.

MQM leader Farooq Sattar said “the government is flying solo on the issue". The whole nation is concerned about the alarming situation and all concerns need to be addressed, he added.

The participants of the meeting expressed concern over the deteriorating condition in Yemen and its implications on the region and on Pakistan.

It was unanimously agreed that the stability and integrity of the Gulf and all countries in the region is of paramount importance. The participants underscored the role of dialogue in resolving the conflict, and went on to say that Saudi Arabia's sanctity was pivotal for Muslims all over the world ─ and Pakistan's response should reflect this belief.

Pakistan delegation in Saudi Arabia

Following Saudi Arabia's offensive in Yemen against Houthi rebels, Pakistan has been mulling over its role in the conflict after Saudi leadership requested Pakistan to participate in and support its operations.

A high-level Pakistani delegation led by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, comprising senior civil-military officials, is currently in Saudi Arabia to evaluate the situation.

A decision on whether Pakistan is to send troops to participate in the Yemen offensive is likely to be made after the delegation's return.

Also read: Yemen conflict: Neutrality no longer an option for Pakistan?