ISLAMABAD – The Foreign Office (FO) has rubbished reports in foreign media that Pakistan plans to send 20,000 troops to Qatar following the Middle East crisis, according to Radio Pakistan.
Earlier, TRT Urdu, a part of the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT), reported that a bill seeking the deployment of Pakistani troops to Qatar had been presented before the National Assembly and was later approved by House.
FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria, in a statement, said that the foreign media reports were “fabricated and baseless”, adding that they were part of a “malicious campaign” seeking to drive a wedge between Pakistan and its Gulf allies.
Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives severed their ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in an unprecedented rift between the most powerful members of the GCC.
Qatar denied these allegations, terming them as ‘false and baseless’.
The crisis is being touted as the biggest in the Middle East and has left Pakistan, along with countries around the world, picking sides and scrambling for solutions.
Last week, lawmakers at the NA expressed “deep concern” over the diplomatic rift and passed a resolution urging all countries to “show restraint and resolve their differences through dialogue”.
The Lower House of the Parliament also called upon the government to take concrete steps towards forging unity amongst the Muslim Ummah in the region.
A six-member Qatari delegation, including members of the royal family, reportedly visited Pakistan during the past week and relayed a message from the Qatari Emir asking Pakistan to play a positive role in resolving the diplomatic crisis engulfing the Middle East.
The FO, however, officially denied having any knowledge of the visit and stressed the need for unity among Muslim countries.
The FO said that Pakistan wishes to see the crisis resolved in the best possible manner.