"Neutral Stance" Brings Saudi Minister to Pakistan late Sunday
ISLAMABAD: Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz, minister for religious affairs arrived in Pakistan late on Sunday, amid lawmaker rejection of Saudi appeal for support for its military intervention in Yemen and Iranian foreign Ministers' return from Pakistan.
Sheikh Saleh is in Pakistan on a two-day visit to meet the prime minister discussing over policy matters pertaining to Saudi's role in Yemen war and Pakistan's allegiance.
His arrival remains critical as UAE has just posted a threat against Pakistan's policy when Pakistan’s parliament voted against being a party to Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, rather being a conciliator. Pakistan lawmakers have identified the war as proxy between two powers in the region Iran and Saudi Arabia. They have emphasized the need for Pakistan to play the role of a mediator in order to diffuse tensions between the two countries.
Saudi Arabia had asked Pakistan to provide warships, aircraft and troops for the campaign in order to support is ally ousted president Hadi's regime in Yemen. Whereas Iran has urged the need for Pakistan to for being an arbitrator bringing Yemen's resolve.
On his arrival, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdul Aziz was diplomatic and told reporters at the airport. “We have excellent relations with Pakistan since its creation and expect more out of it. The resolution passed by Pakistan’s parliament is Pakistan’s internal matter.”
Saudi Arabia has grave concerns, for the allegedly Iran-back Houthis' to spill violence cross border into Saudi Arabia. Iran's nuclear deal with US with lifting of sanctions would tilt the balance in the region with Iran emerging as a strong Shi'ite Block.
Saudi Arabia’s has been a close ally of Pakistan sp. during Nawaz's era, lest it be in terms of assylum or affluences amounting to $i.5 Billion. Nawaz is in a fix for lawmakers have rejected Saudi's mandate.
But Pakistan lawmakers fear the Yemen conflict could degenerate into a sectarian conflict, fueling violence at home and along the long, porous border that Pakistan’s mineral-rich province of Baluchistan shares with Iran.
Saudi Arabia’s military aggression against Yemen started on March 26 in a bid to restore power to fugitive Hadi. The airstrikes have killed hundreds of people and injured thousands more.
Ansarullah fighters have taken over state matters, citing the inability of Hadi’s former government to properly run the affairs of the country and contain terror and corruption.
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