ISLAMABAD: Lawmakers from both houses of Parliament on Friday passed a unanimous resolution on the crisis in Yemen, urging Pakistan to stay neutral in the conflict.
The resolution, which was passed following five days of debate after a joint resolution started on Monday, states that Pakistan will not become a party in the Yemen crisis. However, Pakistan will come to Saudi Arabia’s defence if the country’s sovereignty or territorial integrity is threatened.
The resolution also urges Pakistan to play its diplomatic roles in resolving the crisis, while also calling for the country not to take sides and stay neutral in the conflict.
The resolution also calls for urging the United Nations Security Council and the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to bring a ceasefire among warring factions in war-torn Yemen.
The joint sitting of Parliament was called after Saudi-led coalition forces launched airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen, and Saudi Arabia asked long-time ally Pakistan for military assistance in the operation.
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Key points of the resolution were agreed upon during a consultative meeting of all parliamentary parties called by National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq before the start of the session.
The resolution noted that the war in Yemen “is not sectarian in nature but has the potential of turning into a sectarian conflict which will have a critical fallout in the region including Pakistan.”
Expressing serious concerns on the deteriorating security situation in Yemen and its implications, Parliament called upon “warring factions in Yemen to resolve their differences peacefully through dialogue”.
The resolution also noted that the crisis in Yemen “could plunge the entire region into turmoil”.
Calling for further efforts to promote unity among Muslim countries, urged Pakistan to “maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able play a diplomatic role to end the crisis.”
In the case of “any violation of Saudi Arabia’s territorial sovereignty and any threat to Harmain Shareefain, Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Sarabia and its people,” it said.
Expressing “deep concern at the increasing threat posed by terrorists and non-state actors”, the resolution urged the government of Pakistan to initiate steps through the United Nations Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) to bring about a ceasefire in Yemen.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was also present in the House when the resolution was adopted.
A draft of the resolution was read out by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar before it was passed unanimously by all members of the Senate and National Assembly attending the session.