Sharif to go far and wide in search of peace

  • PM to begin series of foreign trips in 48 hours to work with allies towards resolution of Yemen conflict
  • Stranded Pakistanis in Yemen reach Aden to get evacuated by Chinese naval ship to Djibouti


As coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia continue to pound Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen, all eyes are on Pakistan which is still indecisive over the issue of sending its troops to the war-hit region on the Saudi Kingdom’s call for military assistance.

However, starting from Turkey, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is due to begin a series of foreign trips over the conflict in Yemen in the next 48 hours to gather support for a peaceful resolution of Yemen conflict.

According to government sources, PM will meet the Turkish leadership to take them into confidence about Pakistan’s policy on Yemen conflict. The premier will offer Turkey to work together to deal with the crisis, sources said, adding that the government wanted to work together towards a solution with the support of allies.

The government sources further said that the government is with Saudi Arabia but wanted to resolve the Yemen conflict peacefully. Whatever role Pakistan decides to play, it will be to obtain positive results for the Muslim world on a foreign front, sources said.


In the meanwhile, a Pakistani delegation has returned home from Saudia and is expected to brief PM Sharif following which the decision to send troops will be made by the country’s leadership.

The Pakistani delegation led by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif held meetings with high-ranked Saudi officials including Defence Minister Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al-Saud late on Tuesday to discuss the situation in Yemen.

On Monday, a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also concluded that Pakistan remains firmly committed to supporting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the aspirations of the people of Pakistan.

It was emphasised during the meeting that Pakistan stands committed to playing a meaningful role in arresting the deteriorating situation in the Middle East.

In the same context, and to facilitate early resolution of the crisis and to promote peace and unity of the Muslim Community, the PM would be contacting the leadership of brotherly countries.

Pakistan will also call upon the United Nations, OIC, and the international community to play a constructive role in finding a political solution to the crisis.


Meanwhile, stranded Pakistanis in Yemen on Wednesday reached Aden from various places to get evacuated by Chinese Naval ship to Djibouti.

Foreign Office spokeswoman Tasneem Aslam confirmed that Pakistanis who reached Aden will be evacuated by Chinese Naval ship to Djibouti. Later, they will be flown to Pakistan by PIA’s special flight.

“The immigration process of over 200 Pakistanis is underway in a local hotel in Aden to board them on Chinese naval ship,” said sources.

Pakistan Naval ship dispatched to evacuate Pakistanis from Aden is on its way and is expected to dock in the open sea near Aden tomorrow, she added.

According to details, the Pakistanis gathered in Aden will be lifted through small boats from the port and will be shifted to the vessel for their onward journey to Karachi. The second PIA plane will leave for Djibouti this evening to bring back Pakistanis stranded in Yemen.

According to Civil Aviation Division spokesperson, the airbus will return back to Karachi tonight with 200 Pakistanis from Djibouti.


  1. It is nice to learn that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javed Zarif is due to visit Islamabad on April 8 in order to discuss Yemen situation with Pakistani officials. Irani officials deserve to be congratulated for successfully concluding a framework nuclear deal with the world leaders, with the final agreement hopefully not too far away.

    Perhaps the strong action taken by Saudi Arabia and its allies was a bit unexpected for Iran. Moreover, the formation of a joint Arab military force would also have unsettled it. And on top of all this, indications of Pakistan actively joining on the side of Saudi Arabia may have proved too worrying for Iran.

    Strictly speaking, facing problems on the eastern border, fighting terrorists in the tribal areas and being extensively engaged in dealing with militancy and terrorism inside the whole country, Pakistan military is in no position to take up additional assignments which could deplete it capacity to deal with its own problems. Additionally, it would be unwise for Pakistan to get involved in this Sunni-Shia tussle between Saudi Arabia and Iran in order to expand their respective areas of influence. Also, Pakistani involvement in this proxy war could raise serious problems for us because this Shia-Sunni war is also being fought within Pakistani borders through terrorist outfits supported and sponsored by Iran and Saudi Arabia. Another factor to consider is that one-fifth of Pakistani population consists of Shias.

    Because of the above factors, Pakistan should resist the pressure to commit its troops to fighting in Yemen in support of the Saudi initiative.

    Iranian authorities recently expressed a desire, and confidence that they could solve Yemeni problem through discussions with Saudi Arabia. In these circumstances Pakistan, which has friendly relations with both Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been placed in an ideal situation where it could try to solve, not only the Yemeni problem, but also to try to eliminate the ongoing Sunni-Shia war which is being fought over the whole of Middle East as also in Pakistan, and is doing great harm to the Umah as a whole. However, it remains to be seen whether the present top leadership in the country has the vision and capacity to work on such a large frame.

    Apart from not being a statesman, Nawaz Sharif has another limitation: that of being heavily indebted to the Saudi Royal family for nearly a decade of hospitality and much more. Obviously, being in his last stint, Nawaz Sharif would like to make the best of it and return Saudi favours and in the process, cultivate some added goodwill which he could cash sometime. As for the present military leadership, it does not seem to be like the one that gave marching orders to two top state officials. In fact, the army has already declared that it will abide by the government decision which is how it should be in a democracy, except that ours is not really a democracy. So there does not seem to be much chance of Pakistani leadership using its influence and the special position – as the strongest militarily and the only nuclear power in the Muslim world – to bring to and end this Shia-Sunni tussle and thus establish its deserved place as the leader of the Ummah.


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