Sunday, April 19, 2015

Over-reacting to Pak Decision, Not Justified

Yemen is at war with itself, but the vested interests are at play exploiting the sectarian card; cashing in on the “well tailored Shiites-Sunni divide.” The stakeholders, however, fail to realize that war is not a video game; it kills innocent civilians indiscriminately (as a collateral damage). In the current case, the death toll may be far higher than the UNclaim of 736 killed and 2,700 injured - civilians and rebels combined since 26 March.

The problem is Yemen’s dispute has not been fully addressed at the UN level, as they deserve to exercise right of self determination and voting.

Unimaginably, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries are over-demanding, they don’t care about Pakistan’s fragile democracy, yet the fact is that the Pak Parliament has rightly passed resolution with regard to participating in the war of Arabs. When would the Arabs learn “the economically injured Pakistan” is already at war with the FATA militants, the BLA separatists and the foreign funded militancy? Despite the challenges, Pakistan confirms its willingness to protect Saudi Arabia.

Nevertheless, if Saudi Arabia is in a mood to fight the Yemeni local rebels, and if Iran arms them, there would be a huge devastation. That’s why, a UN resolution was necessary to de-escalate tensions in the Mid-Eastern region.

Over-reaction is disappointing: The UAE minister’s implied threat to Pakistan was serious one. Pakistan parliament passed a resolution unanimously calling for maintaining neutrality in the Yemen conflict playing a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis inferring no Pak military involvement in Yemen as requested by Saudi Arabia. The minister warned Pakistan that it would pay a “high price” for its “ambiguous stand.” The Fact is the UAE and other Gulf countries are supporting millions of workers from countries like India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Nepal, Sri Lanka etc. who outnumber Pakistani workers in almost each country in the Gulf. Yet none of these countries have been approached for military and logistic support in the current Yemen crisis.

The UAE minister needs to know Iran has a common border with Pakistan. Why would Pakistan create hostilities with another neighbor on its western border? India on its eastern border has always been hostile towards Pakistan.

It is estimated that more than three million Pakistani nationals are working in GCC countries and they are remitting about US.1.5 billion dollars per month to Pakistan. If GCC countries decided to expel all Pakistani nationals, it will cause huge economic hardship for Pakistan.

When work visas get issued, the other nations are given preference over Pakistan. Those countries get billions of dollars in remittances from their workers, with Pakistan just getting a fraction. Pakistanis are a nation that never forgets its good friends. The Pakistan government has not backed out and has committed that if the territorial integrity of S Arabia is threatened, it will act

Saudi and Iran proxies and some others from amongst the various warring factions are aggressively active for certain purposes including winning sphere of influence.

Pakistan is genuinely trying to bring a peaceful solution to the crisis through diplomatic means, a move that should be appreciated.

The Saudis have been re-assured by pointing out that it was a strategic ally: That Pakistan was committed to the sanctity of the two Holy Mosques and Saudi sovereignty, territorial integrity and stability; and that Pakistan would stand by the Saudis. Pak Prime Minister reaffirmed Pakistan’s commitment to the territorial security of its allies while stressing for a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the Yemen conflict. Of course, Pakistan will respond to “friends’ genuine demands,” it wants to see an end to hostilities in the region.

PM Nawaz Sharif’s “policy statement on Yemen,” was interpreted as a formal clarification after last Friday’s parliamentary resolution which provoked a hostile response from a UAE minister. Most probably, it was Pak PM’s fault who over-committed himself in his royal visit when the Saudi king himself received him at the tarmac.
Finally, "the UN Security Council resolution targets Abdul Malik al-Houthi and two other senior rebel leaders, Abd al-Khaliq al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, as well as Mr Saleh and his eldest son Ahmed, a former commander of the elite Republican Guard force. Ahmed Saleh is the former commander of Yemen's elite Republican Guard. The embargo also applies to "those acting on their behalf or at their direction in Yemen."
The Security Council also imposed a global asset freeze and travel ban on Abdul Malik al-Houthi and Ahmed Saleh. The resolution demanded that the Houthis withdraw from areas they have seized, including the capital Sanaa, and resume negotiations on the democratic transition begun in 2011 when Ali Abdullah Saleh was forced to hand over power to Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi following mass protests. Resolution was passed by 14 votes to nil.

Conclusion:
Pakistani decisions through the national assembly are particularly based on national interest and aspirations to respect the nations and their 'integrity and sovereignty.'
Arab Monarchs must understand that Pakistanis give their blood and sweat to build and maintain the Gulf States on low wages.
Post cease fire, the Yemeni citizens should be facilitated under the UN umbrella to vote on merit for a new government that governs the Yemenis on equality basis.
In the interest of regional peace, Saudi Arabia and Iran must bridge the gap between them.
Pakistan’s approach to foreign policy, especially in the GCC and Middle East needs an overhaul.
Indeed, fruits of preventive diplomacy are countless.

Sources: Wikipedia, Reuter, khaleej times, BBC, nation.com.pk, dawn.com, thenews.com, arabnews.com





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