Pakistan has joined Saudi military alliance: Foreign Office

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Islamabad, March 30 (IANS) Pakistan authorities on Thursday confirmed that Islamabad has formally joined the Saudi-led Islamic Military Alliance.

“The basic purpose of this force is counter terrorism. Terms of reference of counter terrorism operations are to be made,” Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said

He, however, added that he has no knowledge of contacts between Saudi government and former army chief Raheel Sharif, who has been appointed the commander of force.

Answering a supplementary question on if Pakistan has officially joined this alliance, the spokesman said: “We are already part of it.”

Pakistan’s parliament in 2015 unanimously passed a resolution affirming the country’s “neutrality” in the Yemen conflict, in a move that indicated the South Asian country will not be joining a Saudi-led military coalition that was fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The resolution expressed the “desire that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict”, while reaffirming Pakistan’s “unequivocal support of Saudi Arabia”.

–IANS

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