Pakistani troops not to take part in Yemen war: FM
Troops deployed in Saudi Arabia only for kingdom’s internal security, foreign minister says
By Islamuddin Sajid
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – The army troops deployed in Saudi Arabia are providing military assistance for “internal security” purposes and they will not take part in the war in Yemen, Khawaja Asif, Pakistan’s foreign minister, said Friday.
Asif said the government had turned down a request from Riyadh to join the Saudi-led fight against Houthi rebels, adding Pakistani troops stationed in the kingdom would not be sent to a third country for combat.
“Those who want to make Pakistan their proxy state should know that we would never become a proxy of the United States or any other country,” Asif told the parliament.
Last month, a controversy erupted in the country after the defense ministry announced the deployment of around 1,000 troops in the kingdom to “advise and train” Saudi troops.
Opposition lawmakers have rejected the troop deployment as a breach of a parliamentary decision that Islamabad will not be a part of any of the conflicts in the Middle East, particularly the one in Yemen.