ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif extended an offer to Saudi King Salman bin Abdul Aziz during a telephonic conversation to send Pakistan Army troops to Saudi Arabia for the protection of the holy land in the wake of the insurgency of the Houthis in Yemen.
The Saudi King made a telephone call to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Saturday evening and had a detailed discussion with him about operation Determination Storm against Houthi insurgents in Yemen which was causing a serious threat to the neighbouring countries, including Saudi Arabia.
King Salman, who dashed to the Egyptian tourist resort of Sharam el Shaikh to attend an emergency Arab summit meeting on developments in Yemen also made calls to some other important world leaders, including US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron to discuss the situation.
He thanked Prime Minister Nawaz for Pakistan’s support in the action and expressed his determination that the operation would continue till it achieved its logical conclusion. He expressed satisfaction that the whole world was supporting the action by Saudi Arabia and its allies for peace and stability in the region. The two leaders reportedly discussed recent developments on the regional and international fronts and decided to maintain a close liaison in the matter in the days to come.
The King took Nawaz Sharif into confidence about the operation while Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif assured Pakistan’s unflinching support for the security of Saudi Arabia and the decisions of the civil and military leadership in this regard.
Meanwhile, the state-run Saudi wire service Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported that during the telephone conversation on Saturday, Nawaz expressed full support for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the Determination Storm operation, asserting that “all potentials of the Pakistani Army are offered to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. King Salman thanked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for his sentiments and stressed the depth of relations between the two countries, the report said.
Diplomatic sources told The News that Saudi Arabia had assured its cooperation for the safe evacuation of Pakistani families stranded in Yemen as they had been facing a serious threat to their security on account of the activities of the rebels. The prime minister a day earlier had ordered the Pakistani mission in Yemen to take steps for their immediate evacuation. According to a statement from the PM House, these instructions were issued keeping in view the deteriorating law and order environment in Yemen.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is mulling over convening an All Parties Conference (APC) to evolve a consensus on the strategy to deal with the situation including consigning troops for a combative role.