The government is set to fulfill Saudi Arabia’s request for military assistance in its offensive against Houthi rebels in Yemen within next week, sources privy to the development told The Express Tribune.
The top civil and military leadership met to discuss the Yemen situation during an adjournment in a joint session of Parliament held on Monday to discuss the same issue.
“The current week is important for Pakistan to prepare and meet Saudi Arabia’s demands,” the sources said.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif chaired the meeting, which was also attended by army chief general Raheel Sharif among others.
According to sources, the government will fulfill all requirements of Saudi Arabia in letter and spirit within a week.
Further, sources claimed the top civil and military leadership expressed their satisfaction over Defence Minister Khawaja Asif’s statement on the Yemen situation, which he read at the joint session of Parliament earlier today.
Prime Minister chairing the meeting. PHOTO: PID
The defence minister had stated that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan for military aircraft, warships and soldiers.
“Saudi Arabia has asked for combat planes, warships and soldiers,” Asif, who also visited Turkey to discuss Yemen, said, without specifying where Saudi wanted them deployed.
Asif read his written statement, introducing a motion on the Yemen conflict and whether to join Saudi forces bombing the war-hit country.
“It is important to ensure unity among Muslim countries; PM Nawaz is working to make a peaceful solution to this crisis possible,” the defence minister added.
The federal minister said leaders of Pakistan and Turkey have same stance on the Yemen issue – standing by Saudi Arabia.
“There is a need to find a peaceful situation to maintain unity among Muslim countries; all decisions taken by the government will reflect the aspirations of the people of Pakistan,” he added.
The top civil and military brass upheld that Asif’s statement indirecly conveyed its message to Saudi Arabia and Iran.
“The government’s statements were drafted after a consensus and with support from the General Headquarters (GHQ),” the sources asserted.
Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, PM’s senior aide Sartaj Aziz, Army chief General Raheel Sharif, Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah, chief of Naval Staff Air Marshal Sohail Aman, and the foreign Secretary are in attendance.