ISLAMABAD – Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz will brief the Upper House of Parliament on Wednesday (today) on the issue of Saudi Arabia-led military alliance headed by General Raheel Sharif.
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The issue of military alliance came to the fore when the house took up a calling-attention notice from Farhatullah Babar of the PPP, seeking the government’s response on reported statements from the Saudi authorities that the Islamic Military Alliance would not only deal with terrorist organisations like Da’ish and al Qaeda but it would also target any rebel groups posing threat to any member country.
Senator Babar had submitted the notice on April 25. But the ministries of foreign affairs and defence kept shifting responsibility on each other to respond.
Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani served notices to the ministers and the secretaries of defence and foreign affairs to appear in the House and satisfy the members on the contentious issue.
However, during Tuesday’s proceedings, in-charge ministers of both the ministries were missing, which irked Rabbani. He summoned the secretaries of both the ministries before the privilege committee and reprimanded the ministers sitting in the front row.
“Do not turn parliament into a ping-pong. I will not tolerate it. This notice was submitted in the Senate secretariat on April 25. It was sent to the Ministry of Defence on May 2 and they informed us yesterday that the matter does not come under their domain. The Foreign Ministry on the other hand [is] saying it is [for] the Ministry of Defence to explain,” remarked Raza Rabbani.
Before the sitting concluded, the Senate Secretariat informed the chairman that the PM’s advisor on foreign affairs was on his way to brief the House but as the mover of the calling-attention notice had already left the House, Rabbani directed the PM’s advisor to give his policy statement on Wednesday (today).
Trump’s Saudi Arabia visit
The issue of Saudi-led military alliance became controversial when, during Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia, it was blatantly expressed both by US and Saudi leaders that Iran was the epicenter of problems.
Pakistan, being the neighbor of the Muslim country, initially tried to cajole Iran to join the alliance, but remained unsuccessful.
Media reports suggested that General Raheel Sharif was also thinking to leave the alliance due to excessive intervention of the US administration.