WEB DESK: Pakistan said on Wednesday that it welcomes the formation of Saudi-led 34-nation military alliance to counter terrorism and is awaiting further details to decide extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance.
Giving Pakistan’s response to announcement by Saudi Arabia regarding formation of an alliance against terrorism, Foreign Office said in a statement that as is well known, Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to international community.
“It is in this context that Pakistan welcomes the formation of the 34-nation alliance to counter terrorism and is awaiting further details to decide the extent of its participation in different activities of the alliance”, the statement added. However, the statement suggests that Pakistan is yet to take a decision in principle on joining the alliance.
It further stated that the 42nd session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Kuwait this year had reiterated its commitment to relevant UN and OIC resolutions on combating terrorism and extremism and called for joining regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremist thought.
“Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close, cordial, and brotherly relations. Both countries condemn terrorism and cooperate in the efforts to eliminate this menace”, it added. On Tuesday soon after the announcement was made, a senior government official told Business Recorder on condition of anonymity that the alliance would work specifically against terrorists and violent extremists in Muslim world including Daesh under the UN mandate. “The alliance has nothing to do with the civil war in Yemen or elsewhere but it is aimed at fighting the terrorists and other non-state actors”, the official said.
Another official maintained though it is yet to get details on the alliance and any possible participation of Pakistan could only be decided after obtaining the detail from the Kingdom. The alliance of the 34 Muslim countries, which was announced by the Kingdom through a statement, included Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, the Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Palestine, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, and Yemen. But three regional countries including Iran, Iraq and Syria have not been enlisted in the alliance. Afghanistan has also not been included in the coalition.
Source: Business Recorder