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Military alliance may be used against any terrorist outfit, says Saudi defence adviser

Updated Apr 19, 2017 03:12pm


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The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday quoted an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s minister of defence, who is involved in assembling the new alliance, as saying that the coalition could take action against rebel groups and militias that pose a threat to member countries — a possible hint at Houthi rebels in Yemen, who are backed by Iran.

Major General Ahmed Asiri, the adviser to the Saudi minister of defence, was further quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying that the alliance is not specific in its objectives to confronting international terror groups like Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

The armed coalition was initially proposed as a platform for security cooperation among Muslim countries, and included provisions for training, equipment and troops, and the involvement of religious scholars for devising a counter-terrorism narrative.

Since news of the alliance first surfaced, there have been concerns about its nature and how it may affect a pre-existing parliamentary resolution on Yemen passed unanimously by lawmakers calling for "neutrality in the conflict" in 2015.

Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif has time and again reassured the nation that Pakistan's stance on Yemen would not suffer due to this new-found coalition.

In the latest of these reassurances, on April 13, Asif told the National Assembly:"We will stick to our prerogative when it comes to Yemen, and the agreement we have will remain binding."

However, Asiri was quoted in the Wall Street Journal as saying that: "All countries will put effort into combating terrorism in the member countries, regardless of the nature of the terror groups. That is the main goal.”

He added, “Each country has its own expertise that it can contribute to the coalition.”

Addressing the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf's concerns, voiced in the National assembly on April 13, Khawaja Asif had also said, "The alliance has not been formed yet, the countries have only discussed the matters."

"There will be a grand meeting of all the countries to be involved in the alliance in May, the formal alliance will be formed after that. The terms of reference formed in the meeting will be discussed in the parliament," Asif had added at the time.

"The Saudis wished that Raheel Sharif should head the alliance, whenever it is formed, and thus the matter was discussed. However, he will only ask for a No Objection Certificate (NOC) after all matters have been finalised," Asif said while he had the floor.

Iran’s ambassador to Islamabad, Mehdi Honardoost had registered his protest at Raheel Sharif's appointment as the head of the coalition and stressed that all important Islamic countries should come together to form a "coalition of peace" in order to resolve their issues "rather [than] forming a controversial military alliance".

It is important to note that Iran, Saudi Arabia's archrival for influence in the Arab world, has remained absent from the states named as participants, as proxy conflicts between the two regional powers rage from Syria to Yemen.


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Comments (81) Closed

Abubakar Apr 19, 2017 01:56pm

Why not against Israel? Saudi Arabia is losing respect quickly.

naeem malik Apr 19, 2017 01:57pm

such a shamefull alliance with saudi back up

mUMTAZ SHAH Apr 19, 2017 01:57pm

General Sahib, please reveiw your decision

Zaheer Apr 19, 2017 02:00pm

So sad.

FAREED HUSSAIN Apr 19, 2017 02:01pm

Pakistan must have known to the fact Saudis cant be trusted for their intentions and words for not using the military alliance against Muslims, especially shias in any other country. If so it will widen the gap between Shias and Sunnis in the world, the line is very clear in the Middle east

kknayan Apr 19, 2017 02:08pm

Saudi and Iran both responsible for all wars killing people. West simply want oil so they obey their Saudi masters.

Skeptic Apr 19, 2017 02:08pm

There it is!! This is the real objective of the Saudi regime - to use forces and talent of other nations to meet Saudi objectives in Yemen.

Gen. Raheel should think twice, thrice before partaking in this adventure.

Mohammad Iqbal Apr 19, 2017 02:10pm

In the Islamic NATO, Saudi decisions will be taken to task. Our ex COAS now on payroll of this military alliance will be ordered to carry on the orders. Thats all. Be it against Iran or Iceland

Falcon1 Apr 19, 2017 02:10pm

Saudis are deceiving all the Muslim nations with this so-called 'alliance' Their real objective is to get involved full-scale in Syria, Iraq and Yemen - without sacrificing their own blood. They are only looking for other Muslim to fight their battles.

Anyone in the right mind will stay thousands of miles away from the Saudis.

zafar ahmed Apr 19, 2017 02:11pm

It is all about to fight against terrorism , which we are fighting without much success and it is time to define what is terrorism . Those occupying other's country partially or full should be included in act of terrorism .

SUV Apr 19, 2017 02:13pm

pakistan should rethink about terms of engagement in this military alliance!!!

Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Apr 19, 2017 02:16pm

The idea to let Muslims fight against Muslims under a so-called military alliance is highly absurd, absolutely crazy, utterly unwarranted, completely eccentric, totally meaningless, all together ludicrous and definitely uncalled for, to say the least.

A shah Apr 19, 2017 02:21pm

This is going to be a disaster for the Muslim world.

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:31pm

This maybe final nail in coffin for regional stability.

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:32pm

Will the use military against Al Qaeda and ISIS which are proxies and funded by Saudi Arabia?

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:35pm

What has Arab league ever achieved that is positive and just like that league this coalition will never achieve anything positive because the very countries that make it are implicit in the destruction and causes of instability in regions

bulesha Apr 19, 2017 02:37pm

And who will decide that who is actually a terrorist ?

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:40pm

Any democratic country would first question the Saudi Arabia war against poor Yemen before even considering joining this coalition.

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:41pm

Saudi Arabia frightened and are losing US support and under Trump they would have to pay for US military presence !

Ths Apr 19, 2017 02:43pm

Pakistan should remember post 9/11 US threats to Pakistan and Saudi Arabia would drop Pakistan at the first sight of trouble.

Mahmood Apr 19, 2017 02:43pm

Now everyone has their own definition of what they consider to be a 'terrorist' .

IRA was once considered a Terrorist organization. So was PLO, Basque Separatists, Colombian Rebels and countless others. Until the other side recognized their legitimate demands and accepted them into the mainstream politics. But not before millions were annihilated on both sides - needlessly and mostly innocents. Even the present day Afghan and US governments are willing to talk to erstwhile 'terrorists', the Taliban now.

It is sad that some do not learn from lessons of history.

Ahmer Apr 19, 2017 02:44pm

And that would be anything and everything the regime disapproves of. KSA is the center of all the terrorism by directly or indirectly funding it or simply bombing anything and everything the regime disapproves of. Can't say it enough.

Shah Apr 19, 2017 02:56pm

Looks like last nail in coffin of muslum unity!!

imran khan soomro Apr 19, 2017 03:00pm

This alliance seems less Islamic and more personal, which, if formed, can lead to further proxies and chaos in the Muslim world.

Common Sense Apr 19, 2017 03:01pm

Pakistan must stay NEUTRAL at all costs!!!

aslum Apr 19, 2017 03:01pm

This military alliance would further widen Pakistan and Iran rift

Mahmood Apr 19, 2017 03:06pm

@Ths Saudis , Kuwaitis, Qataris, Bahrainis and UAE are all paying for presence of US forces on their land and rathery generously, I might add. Saudis have been the largest under writers of US presence since the first Gulf war.

A US special forces trainer in Abu Dhabi gets $100k tax-free a year, free housing, transport, food, free tickets twice a year back to the US, educational allowance for kids, if any, and maid's salaries and visa fees, all provided by Emirati government.

Qaosar Apr 19, 2017 03:07pm

In that case the biggest sponsor of terrorism in muslim umma is Saudi Arabia

usman Apr 19, 2017 03:12pm

The cat is out of the bag. Saudis do not want to take military action against ISIS since the group was created and funded by Saudi itself to destabilize Iraq and Syria. They simply want to deploy the alliance in a regional military conflict against Iran.

Eh Apr 19, 2017 03:16pm

Pakistan should stay away from these dodgy military alliances.

aziz Apr 19, 2017 03:21pm

The first country to liberate terrorists from is obviously Palestinian which has been brutalized and devastated by the occupying extremists for decades.

ABE Apr 19, 2017 03:22pm

The first casualty of every war is the Truth. All wars are based on deception. Saudis are cleverly using this 'so-called alliance' to serve their own needs. If they really cared about Ummah, they would have said something, much less do anything, about persecution of Ruhingya Muslim in Myanmaar, or those in China - being intimated by the Chinese government and prevented from practicing their faith, growing beards, wearing hijab, praying or fasting.

This is deception designed to make themselves look relevant.

Logic Apr 19, 2017 03:42pm

Saudis are to steer this alliance, US and Israel are in favour of this coalition. They are paying people whom they hired. Result is obvious more death and destruction, nothing else expected.

Nadeem Apr 19, 2017 03:43pm

why are we so worried about concerns voiced by Iran. Did they bother to worry about their brother's and sister's going to be killed in Pakistan at the behest of RAW. They allowed India to open a command centre in their country to carry out operation against Pakistan in Balouchistan, Karachi and other towns.

MAF Apr 19, 2017 03:44pm

Who will decide that who is militant?on what basis?Saudis are deceiving all the Muslims for their own sake.

Jacklord Apr 19, 2017 03:44pm

The most important thing for me as pakistani is what will i get in return instead of thinking about others what they will lose as per our new polciy.

I am strong believer of "Pakistan first policy" all come after pakistan and our ID is pakistani.

I firmly believe who are in charge pakistan defense and foreign policy fully aware of geopolitics situation in the region whatever they have decided is indeed best interest of pakistan and its people.

Long live pakistan , Long live Armed forces of pakistan.

Ths Apr 19, 2017 03:46pm

This alliance is not specific in its objectives to confronting international terror groups like Islamic State and Al Qaeda and illegal actions of Israel and its nuclear weapons,

Jacklord Apr 19, 2017 03:46pm

NATO POLICY is also like one for all or all for one.When you are part of alliance your allies are your friends only rest are "rest"

Ths Apr 19, 2017 03:48pm

Saudi alliance has no objectives to confronting international terror groups like Islamic State and Al Qaeda because they are allies .

akzis Apr 19, 2017 03:49pm

Totally support this decision. Tomorrow if Taliban insurgency rise again GOD forbid, and this Islamic NATO take action against militants, how would people react? Houthis are acting the same way as Taliban insurgency. Any group disobeying the law of the land should be crushed same as Zarbe Azb.

Taimoor khan Apr 19, 2017 03:49pm

If Pakistan becomes part of this alliance, would this so called alliance will act against the likes of TTP who are hiding in Afghanistan under the sponsorship of forigen powers? What about the Indian occupied kashmir where the locals are terrorized by the Indian occupation forces?

If Pakistan interests are not served, and we are just there to do the bidding of other powers, its pretty useless and we should stay put.

Ths Apr 19, 2017 03:49pm

What should be made is a coalition against Israeli occupation

SID Apr 19, 2017 03:53pm

@Abubakar Israel has backing of US.

ArifNayani Apr 19, 2017 04:00pm

@AKZIS... You are making a fool out of your self by such idiotic statement.. Law of land is respected when the law was made by Governments supported by public vote.. A government grabbed with rigged elections or undemocraticly has no right to implement the law of land..And if SaudiArab is soo keen to bring a democratic govt in Yemen it should first start by itself..

M.Saeed Apr 19, 2017 04:01pm

But who would decide what qualifies as terrorist?

akzis Apr 19, 2017 04:16pm

Dear Fellow Citizen, every country has vested interests and they have to take them forward!! To take the interests to the next level, they need to have the support of think tanks, lobbyists or in some cases, Yes armed groups as well. IS has claimed many attacks on Saudi soil, but at the same time you maybe correct they might support the faction, same as Hezbollah has been controlled by Iranian generals of revolutionary guards or financed by Iran.

Balakrishnan Apr 19, 2017 04:18pm

Saudi can't work against Israel, due to US influence.

S. A. M. Apr 19, 2017 04:19pm

All these actions will only quicken the demise of house of saud in their efforts to become formidable they are just not realizing that the problem can come from the most unexpected direction.

Balakrishnan Apr 19, 2017 04:20pm

Strategical interest is important, rather than alliance. Iran being neighbor country to maintain good relation with them will be good on national interest. Once broken, difficult to rejoin.

Dawn Apr 19, 2017 04:20pm

This alliance has been created on behest of other non-Muslims country/ies to start a round of massacre against Muslims. Very poor judgement by Sharif. I see greater rife amongst the Muslim Nations.

Sameer Apr 19, 2017 04:21pm

That is not up to SAUDI defense minister to decide. If he is the one deciding then Pakistan should immediately PULL BACK.

Balakrishnan Apr 19, 2017 04:23pm

@Taimoor khan Saudi is good friend of India.

Sameer Apr 19, 2017 04:23pm

@kknayan West is now self reliant in fossil fuel production; keystone XL project will further reduce dependence on OPEC. The Saudis realize this. Hence they will happily spend 200 to 300 Billion $ to save the other 6000 Billion. Notice how the Saudi premier is travelling to other countries to move onto other sectors other than oil.

akzis Apr 19, 2017 04:25pm

@ArifNayani let's be respectful to each other while posting on one of the leading news websites. Anyway, so in other words you're supporting Houthi militancy? Anyone can get up and claim to form the government? Do you think Iran has democracy in place? Having a supreme leader on top of the elected president??? Supreme leader is the commander in Cheif not the president? Is it democracy? What if the Saudi King bring in a puppet Prime Minister? They're better off with Kingdom instead of fooling the world with dead democracy!

Sameer Apr 19, 2017 04:27pm

The thought of a coalition army was an amazing idea...a need for unity. However unclear ambitions will cause havoc. This needs to be a united coalition with all Muslim countries.

Saif zulfiqar Apr 19, 2017 04:29pm

Without finance Terrorists cannot survive a day in Pakistan. Will Saudi stop finance to the thousands of Madressas in Pakistan who are producing Terrorists?

Iftikhar Husain Apr 19, 2017 04:38pm

The Islamic nations are falling apart. Some countries will be happy happy to see this.

Wajahat Apr 19, 2017 04:50pm

Will that happen against outfits inside Pakistan? Or else will it be on selective basis.

Goga Nalaik Apr 19, 2017 04:52pm

As rightly feared by many, saudi are showing their real intentions. Pakistan must stay out of their war on Yemen.

Monsieur Apr 19, 2017 04:54pm

this happens when your Foreign policy depends on others

tahir saleem Apr 19, 2017 05:03pm

will this Alliance care to support Pakistan militarily, in case any country attacks on our country.

SHARARAT Apr 19, 2017 05:05pm

Thanks for getting yourselves involved in Middle East, Pakistan. Best wishes from India

Muhammad Apr 19, 2017 05:05pm

@Abubakar the only terrorist in this region is from Saudia arabia, Pakistan and other OIC nations. Now they are joining together. So funny report

MUHAMMAD Apr 19, 2017 05:13pm

Pakistan committed the biggest mistake in recent times by joining this coliation. We should have remained completely neutral in this entire thing. Enough of habibi appeasement.

Rajesh Apr 19, 2017 05:20pm

It will sure create another ISIS or Taliban. Good luck.

harris - Sydney Apr 19, 2017 05:22pm

@Muhammad why are you people turning blind eye towards the terrorist activities being spread by Iran in Syria, Iraq and now Yemen?

asim Apr 19, 2017 05:42pm

There you have it!! I knew it from the first day, and from the secrecy of the objectives and aims of this alliance. Our government will slowly slip away and one by one let go of the 'assurances' it made before the public. Finally, it will be a Saudi block alliance against anyone 'not considered friend' by the Saudi block.

asim Apr 19, 2017 05:43pm

@harris - Sydney Because its not true. Iran definitely is involved in the three countries you mentioned but its not funding and supporting terrorism.

tahir saleem Apr 19, 2017 05:53pm

It's good that Gen Raheel will command this military alliance .He is a sane personality and will never go against the sentiments of the Muslim ummah. However, evil to be dealt strictly. Apart from this , military alliance should also protect the interest of Pakistan against any foreign aggressor.

Amir iqbal Apr 19, 2017 06:02pm

The concept of Ummah is a dead concept. It never existed. It never will.

Jacklord Apr 19, 2017 06:25pm

I think its too close to call anti iran bloc or saudi bloc ? its not just pakistan 41 other countries likes Oman share border with iran , Azerbiajan a majority shia state,malaysia who also have shia population just like pakistan and above all turkey who also gas pipeline, big trade volume with iran and also exist gas pipline if all are ready to fight together against declared enemies there is no harm for pakistan to follow such policy in current geopolitical scenario when we have Trump admin in white house who are dropp MOAB in tribal region please use some common sense we need partners not isolation when US NSA declaring india as their major defense partner .

Jacklord Apr 19, 2017 06:25pm

Earlier pakistan was observing neutrality when obama was there now trump is not interested in such stance and recent exchange of views between USA and Pakistan on top officials in not very encouraging for us as Trump admin not interested in excuses but action on ground. If Pakistan exist we all exist , Be pakistani protect all interest of pakistan.

Long live Pakistan, Long live Armed forces of Pakistan

Jacklord Apr 19, 2017 06:31pm

India can be part of afghanistan peace dialogue with no borders , iran has no border with syria but still a major player china also included in every affair so why not Pakistan remain away from high stature in geopolitics?

Any sane patriotic pakistan must support general raheel sharif master foreign policy stroke in major issue of this world.

Its "WOW" moment for pakistanis from 3rd world poor country to part of most power countries of this world.Why think abour WAR ACTION/ there are so many stages before any Kinetic actions on ground.

harris - Sydney Apr 19, 2017 06:37pm

@asim if Iran is not committing sins in the said countries then why is there such immense noise against the alliance? Then, let the alliance do what it desires!!

Syed Shahid Ali Rizvi Apr 19, 2017 06:47pm

"Military alliance may be used against any terrorist outfit" Here TERRORIST is mentioned and not against Iran or Shia... I think we must educate ourselves!

bryan Apr 19, 2017 07:00pm

I have time and again commented that Yemen is the poorest in the entire middle east which is reaping superb benefits of black gold. The way Yemenis are treated in the Gulf is appalling. They are drivers, maids and in road construction. They live a hard life. Don't bomb them continuously. Agreed they have taken arms and have an axe to grind. But tackle them in non military ways. Address their grievances. This act by KSA, UAE and now with Pakistan joining in is utterly disappointing.

Ali Apr 19, 2017 07:04pm

Good. Go against all terrorist outfits, including any Pakistani terrorist group which may have escaped so far. No country can defeat terrorism alone, even 50 NATO / ISAF countries could not defeat terrorism. This is a global war so all the countries must unite, without politics.

ArifNayani Apr 19, 2017 08:29pm

@AKZIS.. I do wholeheartedly respect you but not your ignorance.. Firstly, you should spend some of your calories in Googling about the topic which you want to comment.. As for houthis you should know that they are a respectable tribe not a militant outfit like Alqaeda having a significant amount of public support, remained part of Yemeni govt in past and aren't alone in this coup.. They are being supported by a number of other tribes and most significant among those was the previous president Ali Abdullah Al Saleh and his supporters..The basic reason for revolting was the denial by current president to leave the seat and have a free and fair election.. Secondly, regarding Iran you should know that supreme leader is not like any king there as he is kept under check and balance by Assembly of Experts which is a body elected through public vote..Even the supreme leader can be removed as well..

Boo ali Apr 19, 2017 08:41pm

@akzis Houtie are not taliban or group. they and their supporters constitute more then 45% of yemen's population. It is unfortunate that pakistan is again with the losing side. keep it noted everyone

syedchaudhrygagnadinkhan Apr 19, 2017 09:18pm

All I see is Pakistan being dragged into Shia/Sunni conflict because that's what it is. You can call it Saudi Alliance or whatever but the facts on the ground are that Saudis are unable to fight by themselves and understand that this conflict is on their door step. Pakistan should stay neutral in this.

ahaq Apr 20, 2017 02:10am

@Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Well said