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Parliament calls for neutrality in Yemen conflict

Updated Apr 10, 2015 01:39pm
Lawmakers appreciated the government’s decision to call a joint sitting of Parliament to consider Pakistan's response to the crisis. — AFP
Lawmakers appreciated the government’s decision to call a joint sitting of Parliament to consider Pakistan's response to the crisis. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: On day five of the joint parliamentary session on Yemen, lawmakers approved a draft resolution proposing that Pakistan "should maintain neutrality in the conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”.

Although implying that Islamabad should refrain from assisting Riyadh militarily, the resolution added that Pakistan should stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia to protect the latter's territorial integrity. No direct clarity was provided on whether Pakistan would, or would not involve itself militarily at any point.

The lawmakers okayed the resolution unanimously on the fifth day of the joint parliamentary session on the Saudi-led offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The session was summoned after the Saudi government approached Islamabad for Pakistani warplanes, warships and soldiers to assist in the conflict and join the Saudi-led military coalition that began conducting air strikes last month against Houthi forces in Yemen.

Expressing “unequivocal support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”, the resolution that the lawmakers agreed upon stated that “in case of any violation of its territorial integrity or any threat to Haramain Sharifain, Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia and its people”.

It further said that the crisis in Yemen could “plunge the region into turmoil”, calling upon the warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences "peacefully and through dialogue".

The resolution noted that while the war in Yemen was not sectarian in nature, it had the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict and thereby having a critical fallout in the region, including within Pakistan.

It added that the government should initiate steps to move the UN Security Council and the OIC to bring about an immediate ceasefire in Yemen.

Also read: Debate on Yemen

The resolution expressed “serious concern on the deteriorating security and humanitarian situation in Yemen and its implications for peace and stability of the region”, adding that lawmakers supported “all humanitarian initiatives aimed at bringing relief to the people caught in the conflict”.

It moreover expressed “deep concern at the increasing threats posed by several terrorist groups and non-state actors to the security and stability of the region”, advising the Pakistani government “to enhance its friendship and cooperation with the GCC and all other regional countries in combating extremism and terrorism”.

The resolution added that the lawmakers supported “regional and international efforts for restoration of peace and stability in the region”. It underscored the need for “continued efforts by the Government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution to the crisis while promoting the unity of the Muslim Ummah in cooperation with leaders of other Muslim countries”.

Page 1 of the resolution
Page 1 of the resolution
Page 2 of the resolution
Page 2 of the resolution

The resolution moreover said that the lawmakers desire that “Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”.

It urged “the Muslim Ummah and international community to intensify their efforts to promote peace in Yemen”.

Also read: Not our war

The resolution further states that parliamentarians appreciated the arrangements made by the government for the safe and swift evacuation of Pakistanis and nationals of many other countries from Yemen.

Lawmakers also expressed their gratitude to the People’s Republic of China for its contribution in the evacuation mission.

They also appreciated the government’s efforts to call a joint sitting of Parliament to consider Pakistan's response to the crisis.

Comments (75) Closed

Apr 10, 2015 12:46pm

What a euphemism To keep the nation puzzled as ever.

Apr 10, 2015 12:50pm

Super power Pakistan

Apr 10, 2015 12:50pm

Sending troops or not?

Apr 10, 2015 12:51pm

3 days for this vague statement?? Sorry but Saudis are not our brothers.. maybe a nations thats been our friend but not brothers... and we have played our fair part of friendship. We don't owe anything more.

Apr 10, 2015 12:51pm

Good. Pakistan should always stand shoulder to shoulder with brotherly country Saudi Arabia.

Apr 10, 2015 12:52pm

Pakistan can play a major role not only in muslim world but in the whole world affairs. A lot of time our Gov and our people underestimate ourself.

Please play positive role wherever possible.

Abdul Rahman
Apr 10, 2015 12:53pm

What in the world is standing shoulder to shoulder with KSA!? This whole debate in parliament seems to be a farce when the holier than thou Sharif has already tacitly agreed to be part of this quagmire.

Apr 10, 2015 12:54pm

Poor reporting! Misleading headline - resolution supports peaceful resolution.

Haider Rehman
Apr 10, 2015 12:56pm

Lets see what this really means. But I think things are moving in the right direction.

Nasir Khan
Apr 10, 2015 12:56pm

where is the text of the parliament resolution. What is there to comment?

Apr 10, 2015 12:57pm

PAK & KSA Brothers forever

Burjor Rustomji
Apr 10, 2015 01:03pm

Pakistan has to learn that neighbors are more important.

wali khan
Apr 10, 2015 01:04pm

Mature decision after a long session.

M. Asghar
Apr 10, 2015 01:05pm

Mediation by Pakistan along with Iran and Turkey is the only way out of this Yemeni crisis away from the murky intervention of the outside powers.

wali khan
Apr 10, 2015 01:07pm

Pakistan must play mediating role in Islamic world. since entire muslim ummah is looking towards Pakistan, we are the biggest military power of muslim world, therefore we should take any decision very carefully.

Apr 10, 2015 01:09pm

Good job. Look this is the fruit of democracy no matter how crippled it is

Sami Qureshi
Apr 10, 2015 01:09pm

Again a bundle of confusions is witnessed in the Resolution passed unanimously by the joint session of the Parliament. The Dawn's reporting of the Resolution and its interpretation is quite clear and understandable but all the TV channels have started guessing different interpretations of the Resolution. They are propagating in full voice that Pakistan has refused to send its troops to be the partner of SA in this conflict. They will only assist SA if its integrity, security of HARMAIN -SHARIFAIN is endangered .

Apr 10, 2015 01:10pm

I don't like the ambiguity of this whole statement. What does it actually mean, am I the only one who doesn't understand?

Big Papa
Apr 10, 2015 01:19pm

We can see the impact...Boeing plane of Shaheen barred from entry to Saudi Air Space...

Apr 10, 2015 01:20pm


     Everyone here should support the Pakistan army.  They have spent ten years here telling everyone how great it is.  Hate to read Pakistani comments badmouthing the army.
      "War games are preparation for a time when war is no longer a game.
                                                Jan de Hartog

      A large standing army that goes nowhere can only harm a country.
Apr 10, 2015 01:26pm

Parliament is calling for neutrality because they don't want to see the Sharif family in charge. They are vain people who only want to stick out their feet and trip anyone trying to get ahead of them.

Apr 10, 2015 01:26pm

Let us wait for the Saudi reaction. As a first step a lot of 'visa violaters' have been deported. In the Saudi way of thinking neutrality is a sin. So let us wait for the Saudi reaction.

Apr 10, 2015 01:28pm

The critical question is whether Pakistan will despatch troops at this stage? By neutrality can we guess that no Pakistani soldier presently not involved in any way in the conflict? Pakistan is not neutral to the conflict. It is aiding KSA at present. Neutrality here means only one thing that we are not ready to come to the war front at present (though we are alreay in the back).

Ahmed USA
Apr 10, 2015 01:29pm

KSA should also be asked to express its open and unequivocal support to Pakistan's quest for lasting peace through resolution of Kashmir, Sir creek and Junagarh territorial issues...

Ahmed USA
Apr 10, 2015 01:38pm

... And KSA our brother in arms... Here we come... All of a sudden Pakistan has become a mini USA... Protector of governments... And am loving it!!!

Apr 10, 2015 01:39pm

Thanks god.

Aneel Bachwani
Apr 10, 2015 01:42pm

For the first time, it is observed that Pakistan has learnt from the past and recognised the power of diplomatic approach. There is no friend and enemy all about mutual interest. A very mature decision.

Apr 10, 2015 01:44pm

its a good decision, we should not be drawn into other peoples fights.

Apr 10, 2015 01:46pm

after a long time here is a wise decision.where there is matter of national interest of pakistan there is ummah one step behind.its the war of power and influence not of survival of ummah so pak should avoid it and negotiate with houthis and arabs for fair re election in yemen thats a peace ful solution only.

Apr 10, 2015 01:48pm

Its yes or not, they made it confusion for the purpose..

Syed Muhammad Tehseen Abidi
Apr 10, 2015 01:59pm

Yes is a right way to established peace in Yemen

Shamain 2015
Apr 10, 2015 02:00pm

@Ahmed USA ,mini usa?? Ahmed bahi dont forget how usa always came running after us seeking our support. So hum kuch khaas hain.

Syed Muhammad Tehseen Abidi
Apr 10, 2015 02:03pm

Many people who have bad thinking want that Yemen ware turn in to sectarian @TehseenAbidi

Farrukh Munir
Apr 10, 2015 02:10pm

Clear as mud

Apr 10, 2015 02:14pm

A friend in need is a friend indeed. one of the many things that I learned is, "today I need your help tomorrow you will need mine". Circle of life.

Apr 10, 2015 02:16pm

Soudis have their biggest and powerful ally in U.S to help them in the times of crisis, and you people thought Saudis approached you thinking that you are their greatest ally. Believe me, they only wanted to test your loyalty for all the alms they have provided to your country. Fight will continue whether you are there or not. Just wait and watch, how Soudis are going to treat you in future for your disloyalty.

Apr 10, 2015 02:19pm

Politician never miss a chance to put army in tight spot. They have paid army in same currency as they get paid from it. Knowing that its strategic for Pak to support KSA. They have put ball into army's court. General is damn if he does and damn if he does not.

Apr 10, 2015 02:20pm

Pakistan should stay away from this conflict. The Arabs don't care about us as there is no "brotherly" thing about war. We should mediate between both parties and not take sides.

Apr 10, 2015 02:22pm

What sort of brother Pakistan is that it showed its back in time of crisis. Same old old brother has helped so many times in your crisis. Next time Pakistan gets into trouble, just have some shame to approach the saudi's.

Ahmed USA
Apr 10, 2015 02:24pm

@Shamain 2015 Shamain sister... That is true we are more than Khaas... Happy now?...

Dekh Magar Pyaar Se
Apr 10, 2015 02:34pm

To Whom It May Concern: These are the benefits of having an inclusive democracy. Had someone like Musharraf been at helm – one phone call would have sufficed.

Naqi Akbar
Apr 10, 2015 02:38pm

Contradiction unlimited!

Hayder al-Iraqi
Apr 10, 2015 02:41pm

How can Pakistan be neutral while standing shoulder to shoulder with an aggressor in a conflict???? By "standing shoulder to shoulder" Pakistan is supporting the aggression against the people of Yamen, which will undermine its role as a mediator for peace.

Apr 10, 2015 02:48pm

Awww.... So called Saudi brothers would be very disappointed... Sad indeed... But a good decision, cause Pakistan's military is already stretched to its farthest point in the War On Terror internally... Can't afford more resources that too for another country..

Apr 10, 2015 03:13pm

Tell me something, what role you Pakistanis have got to play in peace making. Is Houthis going to listen to you? Or even KSA going to heed to your mediation? You have made yourself most inconsequential in the situation. Seems harsh, but this is the hard truth.

Apr 10, 2015 03:20pm

And it took a week to decide ? what a performance. Please discuss hunger, water, better life, education to the people.

Dr. Abdul Rehman
Apr 10, 2015 03:25pm

I am in love with the parliament decision. They have made the decision based on what our whole nation was thinking. Whether it is right or wrong, point is whole nation is together on these points and that's what is important.

Usman Masood
Apr 10, 2015 03:29pm

It is absolutely clear: Pakistan will help Saudi Arabia if it is 'attacked' or has any 'direct threat'. That absent (as yet) Pakistan should not intervene and will play its diplomatic role for the solution of crisis. Good resolution!

Apr 10, 2015 03:42pm

Parliament failed to define national interest. Pakistan's national interest lies in independent foreign policy and supporting Muslim unity and revival of OIC. Pakistan should also discuss this matter with all Arab league members and with Iran also. Pakistan Army should not be outstretched as it is already engaging internally.

SR Khan
Apr 10, 2015 03:45pm

Even the worst democracy is better than the best military dictatorship................

hasan baloch
Apr 10, 2015 03:52pm

thank god. Pakistan has no place in this conflict.

Sheeraz Ahmed
Apr 10, 2015 04:07pm

I was hoping that there would be some sort of intellectual decisions resulted from this 5 days sessions of Parliament, but the result is of very low quality came out. Its best for Pakistan to be neutral in this conflict but 5 days without any solution is wastage of mind, money, time etc.

Apr 10, 2015 04:20pm

Pakistani has no role or obligation to get involved in an internecine strife amongst the ruling elites.

Today Egypt is an ally of Saudi Arabia. Not very long ago they were on the opposite side at each others throats fighting over North and South Yemen.

Is Yemen that is being bombed to oblivion not a Muslim country ?

Apr 10, 2015 04:37pm

Double speak as always. It will be interesting to watch further developments and subsequent spin in the tale.

Apr 10, 2015 04:53pm

@ABC : have you read news?

Apr 10, 2015 05:00pm

@AMir Without interference it should be.

Apr 10, 2015 06:21pm

If Saudi Arabia is our brother just because they are also Muslims then Yemeni people are also Muslims and they are weak and poor. Why only brotherly love with Saudi arabia.?

Apr 10, 2015 06:46pm

What is critically important and call of the moment is that innocent life loss of civilian, men, women and children of a brotherly Muslim country should cease forthwith and the coalition partners led by SAUDI ARABIA should be forced to stop their savage bombardment of Aden & Sana as this nation of peaceful Yemeni people have committed no crime against Saudi Arabia or any other nation involved in the bombardment of Yemeni cities. Pakistan must take the lead to bring in U.N to stop this regional adventurism that has potential to flare up into a huge inferno engulfing the whole region.

Apr 10, 2015 06:56pm

How will this impact the Pakistani's who are currently living and working in Saudi? Will this not lead to tensions between native Saudi's and Pakistani's that are currently in the country?

Apr 10, 2015 07:15pm

What we see is fruits of democracy. Pakistan decided well. Well done Nawaz Sharif. If it was dictator like Musharraf, one man would have decided for all.

omar saudi
Apr 10, 2015 07:45pm

@Shakeel no pakistani people are our brothers but i think saudi will not trust in pakistan goverment and we will treet it like forigen countery not like brother countery

Apr 10, 2015 08:17pm

"Saudi-led offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen. " Has anybody in the Pakistan in Pakistan, or for that matter elsewhere, even bothered to ask the most fundamental of questions here: "How come an internal development in Yemen any of Saudi Arabia's business?"

What Saudi Arabia is doing is bombing out a sovereign country. Under no ethical, moral, legal, and common-sense guidance should we support such unjust action.

Apr 10, 2015 08:19pm

As if this vague statement would make a difference in our king-style rule!

Apr 10, 2015 09:43pm

A great decision

Ali Shah
Apr 10, 2015 10:11pm

@Haider Rehman Things are moving in right direction ? Really ?How ? If the joint session says we should be neutral than how come it was not announced that our earlier stance of siding with Saudis is being changed now ? Why did the joint session not ask the govt to retract its initial stance of support to the act of naked aggression ??

Husain Jan
Apr 10, 2015 10:19pm

The joint session should have taken a clear and bold stand to condemn the naked aggression and should have emphasised upon the govt to ask Saudis to immediately stop air raids and further destruction of life and infra structure in Yemen. Without such stand how can the joint session out come be termed as any where near fruitful ? A sincere friend is one who gives correct advice and accordingly we should ask Saudis to stop attacks. Just lamenting for loss of life is not enough at all.

Apr 10, 2015 11:06pm

@Pakistani you missed the USA in this trio

Apr 10, 2015 11:35pm

Kudos to Parliament of Pakistan for rejecting participation of Saudi war in Yemen. This is NOT our war so Stay out of it, we have enough problems at home.

Positive Kid
Apr 10, 2015 11:47pm

Surprisingly logical move from Saudi puppet Sharif govt.

Lets see how Sharif finds a way to veto this move which might cost'em the power !


Why is SA in Yemen ? to support Yemenis or Islam, yeah right !

What abt Palestinian then, go there & fight REAL & all time enemy of Islam & Muslims, will ya !

SA, not in Yemen to help Islam or Muslims, they are saving there own Taaj being snatched by their own Arab brethren !

PK got its plate full already, stay out of it !

Apr 11, 2015 12:12am

@salma because 65% of pak economy is built and backed by saudi arabia. Who is ur brother now??

Apr 11, 2015 02:02am

@Sugi > What you say is completely true, but of late relations have also been deteriorating due to Saudis support for terrorism in Pakistan and also anti-shia killings. This must stop as we cannot tolerate such actions as anything but interference. I would rather live in a poorer Pakistan than in one where Pakistanis are being gunned down and blown apart at random. The Saudis will treat us shabbily in the future of course but right now they were giving Rials in one hand and death in the other. This was not in their best interest either

Tariq Nawaz
Apr 11, 2015 03:16am

@Aneel Bachwani Very true.

KSA Bye Bye
Apr 11, 2015 03:35am

@omar saudi

Saudi's have never treated Pakistan's like brothers - more like servants to be beckoned on demand. Having spent many years living in KSA I have seen first hand how you treat your Pakistani "brothers" or "rafiq" as you like to call us.

The pecking order in KSA is:

  1. True Saudi (born into the house of Saud)
  2. 2nd class Saudi (not born into the house of Saud)
  3. Anybody with white skin
  4. Naturalized Saudi (from Lebanon)
  5. Saudi Shia (or Bhahrani as you like to call them)
  6. Pakistani/Indian/Sri Lankan/Philipino/Nepalese/non-white Labor Class

Kindly withdraw all "aid" to Pakistan and take your madrassah's with you.


Apr 11, 2015 06:20am

@wali khan Why? What has the ummah done for us? Did they stand by us? Not at all. China has. No muslim majority country cares that we are in a state of war within? The only brothers we have are those with a green passport.

Apr 11, 2015 11:06am

Bravo. Good Job.

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