Yemen conflict: Coalition spokesman says talks with Islamabad continuing

Updated April 11, 2015

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Asiri said the Pakistani government’s official position on the Saudi request had yet to be announced. —Reuters/File
Asiri said the Pakistani government’s official position on the Saudi request had yet to be announced. —Reuters/File

SANAA: The spokesman for Saudi Arabia-led coalition engaged in targeting Yemeni rebels has said that consultations between Riyadh and Islamabad on the former’s request for assistance in the military operations in Yemen are still continuing “on the political level”.

Speaking to reporters in Riyadh on Friday, Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri said the Pakistani government’s official position on the Saudi request had yet to be announced.

He said that while Pakistan’s participation in the coalition was “in the interest of Yemen”, its final decision “will not affect the operations in one way or the other”.

Take a look: Parliament calls for neutrality in Yemen conflict

He said that other coalition forces were as well trained as the Pakistani forces, which were known for their operation in similar terrain as Yemen’s.

According to Pakistani officials, Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan to send troops to take part in the campaign against the rebels, known as Houthis, who have seized control of Sanaa and much of the country and forced Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to flee the country.

However, Pakistan appeared wary of getting involved in an increasingly sectarian conflict that could enflame its own sectarian divisions at home.

On Friday, Pakistan’s parliament unanimously voted to stay out of the Saudi-led coalition targeting rebels in Yemen.

Published in Dawn, April 11th, 2015

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