No army brigade sent to Saudi Arabia, says Pakistan

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Islamabad: Pakistan Defence Minister Khawaja Asif on Wednesday categorically rejected reports about deployment of Pakistani army personnel in Saudi Arabia to assist the kingdom in the ongoing Saudi-Yemen conflict.

“No military personnel have been sent to Saudi Arabia in connection with the Saudi Arabia-Yemen conflict,” the minister was quoted as saying by Dawn news.

He was speaking in the National Assembly in response to a point of order raised by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) member Shafqat Mahmood.

Mahmood was referring to some reports and posts on social media which suggested that a Pakistan Army brigade was sent to Saudi Arabia.

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 parliament.”

As discussed in this house and approved, he stressed: “It would be our endeavour that our role is not partisan rather we would play a conciliatory role.”

Saudi Arabia and its mostly Gulf Arab allies intervened in Yemen’s civil war in March 2015 after Houthi rebels deposed the administration of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, which then went into exile in Saudi Arabia.

The coalition has since launched thousands of air attacks on the Houthis and their allies in Yemen’s army but paused the strikes on Sanaa in March after reaching an informal agreement with the Houthis to cool combat on the Yemeni-Saudi border.

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