ISLAMABAD: Minister for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif on Tuesday reiterated Pakistan’s resolve of not becoming part of any alliance against another Muslim state.
“Pakistan will not become part of any agreement which is against another Muslim state. We are bound to parliamentary dictate adopted in a resolution during the Yemen crisis,” he said in response to a calling attention notice.
“However, we can be part of an alliance formed purely to fight against terrorism but not against any state. If an alliance is reached against any state, Pakistan shall not be part of it,” he added.
Farhatullah Babar, mover of the notice, had drawn the attention of the minister towards permission granted to former Army Chief to join Saudi-led multi-nation Islamic Military Alliance to fight against terrorism and had expressed apprehensions that such an alliance could be used against another Muslim country like Yemen.
The minister dispelled the impression, stating that Pakistan had no designs against any other state and could not be part of any such alliance. “Not only Yemen but against any other Muslim state, Pakistan cannot be part of any alliance.”
“We also hope that the alliance shall not be used against any Muslim state and if it happens, the government shall honour the resolution of the Parliament not to become part of any such alliance.”
He said that Pakistan possessed a respectable position among the Muslim world for being a nuclear power and having superior defence capabilities, and had always been ready to play a mediatory role among two brotherly Muslim nations whether those were Saudi Arabia and Iran, or Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
He said as far as security and integrity of Saudi Arabia and the Holy Places was concerned, Pakistan’s support to Saudi Arabia was exemplary.
“A specific number of our armed forces remains in Saudi Arabia all time, under a 1982 agreement and the number of deployment continues to change. Even a year back even our Navy and Air Force was also deployed in Saudi Arabia.
“We are not there for any conflict but for security and integrity of Saudi Arabia as well as the Holy Places,” he added.
“We also have no intention or understanding with the alliance to become part of any conflict against any other country.”
He said that Pakistan had good brotherly relations with Iran, which played an important role in the success of recently held Economic
Cooperation Organization summit. The Iranian President attended that conference with a large delegation, he added.
He said,” It was high time to remove all barriers in progress of Muslim Ummah as due to foreign interventions many Muslim countries were facing a difficult time. We have to connect bonds of love and affection to strengthen the Muslim Ummah.”
The minister said,” There is no question of any involvement of Pakistan in any sect or religion based conflict rather we will continue playing our role as mediator between Muslim countries whether Iran and Saudi Arabia or any other.
“As we receive the TORs (terms of reference) of Islamic Military Alliance, we will share it with the parliament while the House will also be informed regarding issuing NOC to General Raheel Sharif and we will not bypass the House,” he added. —APP