Defence Minister Khawaja Asif Wednesday said Pakistan has no plans to send troops to Saudi Arabia as he rejected media reports about the deployment of the Pakistani soldiers in the Gulf Kingdom to guard its southern border in the ongoing conflict with Yemen.
Asif spoke in the National Assembly in response to a question raised by Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmaker Shafqat Mahmood, who referred to media reports that an army brigade was being sent to the Kingdom.
“No military personnel have been sent to Saudi Arabia in perspective of the Saudi Arabia-Yemen conflict,” Asif said.
“It is our policy not to get involved in Saudi Arabia-Yemen conflict. If any decision had to be taken, it will flow through the parliament,” he said.
The parliament had asked government not to get involved in Yemen conflict after a policy debate in 2015. Saudi had pressed Pakistan to join its coalition which carried out deadly air strikes against Sanaa. Asif said that Pakistan would not play a partisan role in the war but try to be a peace-maker if needed.
The minister also informed the house that under a 1982 agreement between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, about 1,000 Pakistanis security personnel including technicians, doctors and engineers were in that country.
Pakistan had to face displeasure of Saudi Arabia and its ally UAE after refusing to send the troops in 2015.
Earlier, an online news site had reported that Pakistan was sending a brigade of combat troops to shore up Saudi’s vulnerable southern border from reprisal attacks mounted by the Houthis in Yemen.