Pakistan not facing zero-sum option on Yemen: Senator Aitzaz Ahsan

Pakistan is not facing a zero-sum option in the Yemen conflict, says a senior PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan, while stressing the need for caution in handling this very delicate situation.

“No, it is not a ’you-are-with-us-or-against-us scenario,” he said, when asked at a briefing if not supporting Saudi Arabia would put Pakistan in the enemy camp.

Senator Ahsan, who is in Washington to attend the first meeting of a US-Pakistan parliamentary forum, said that in the Yemen situation, the Pakistani parliament had sent two clear messages: Pakistan will maintain neutrality in any situation where Muslims are fighting MusliBut if there is a threat to Saudi Arabia or to the two holy cities, then Pakistan may play a more pro-active role.
“This includes sending its troops, particularly under an OIC banner,” he said. “Pakistan does not need to treat it as an Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict.”

In the current situation, “Pakistan can only undertake rigorous and effective diplomacy,” he said. “This is no with-us-or-against-us situation. But it would be if Saudi Arabia itself was under threat.”

PPP leader says ‘Pakistan can only undertake rigorous and effective diplomacy’. Referring to Arab media reports that some Pakistani parliamentarians ridiculed Saudi Arabia in the debate, Senator Ahsan said He said: “Parliaments are forums of freedom of expression, and all kinds of views are freely expressed in them.”

“Pakistanis are unanimous that they would respond vigorously if there is a threat to Saudi Arabia,” he said.

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