Pakistan yet to decide on contributing troops for Saudi-led coalition, says Aziz

Adviser to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told lawmakers in the upper house of parliament on Monday that Islamabad has yet not decided to commit troops for the Saudi-led coalition. “We are working on what role we can play,” he added. “All members of the coalition will themselves decide about the extent of their participation.”

Aziz said, “Details [of the coalition] are not available,” Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani interjected: “It’s strange that you have joined a military alliance without knowing its details.” Aziz corrected Rabbani that “it’s not an alliance but a coalition”. He also advised the lawmakers against discussing the ‘matter prematurely’.

But Chairman Rabbani did not relent. “You have become part of a coalition without consulting parliament,” he wondered. Several opposition senators shared Rabbani’s views in their speeches. Aziz said Pakistan was not alone, 33 other countries have also joined the coalition. “I’m not concerned with 33 countries. I’m concerned about Pakistan,” Rabbani shot back.

Aziz advised against ‘pre-judging an initiative’ against terrorism and denying the ultra-extremist Islamic State group a footprint in South Asia. However, he could not give a reason for leaving out four countries even though, according to Rabbani, they were also fighting IS, also known by its Arabic acronym Da’ish.


NEO Web Desk

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