Much has been said about the security of our holy places in Makkah and Madina as a reason for Pakistan to join the Saudi-led war of aggression against Yemen. In the present context, these concerns are misleading and are shamelessly being used as a tactic to sell war; whipping the emotions of Pakistanis to a point where they stop seeing reason. All this talk would actually be far more useful if it did not gloss over one glaring fact- that the House of Saud does not deserve the honor of being the custodian of these holiest of holy places in the first place.

If the House of Saud is so incompetent that it has to go begging for military support in order to defend its borders, it is obviously not cut out to be the custodian of the Khaana Kaaba. An international force drawn from big and small Muslim countries should be given the custody of the holy places rather than leaving the job to an extravagant royal family notorious for its sectarian machinations all over the Muslim world and its role in funding militancy. Wouldn’t it be better if Makkah and Madina were governed jointly by OIC members? It would definitely be more appropriate.

For now, the House of Saud, and the long list of rulers and maulanas it patronizes, would like to use the holy places as an excuse for roping in allies from the Muslim world and suck them into the violent vortex of this uncalled for attack on Yemen. It is no secret that the war is being choreographed in real time by the US, what with its declared logistical and intelligence support and the undeclared role of its various covert agents, including the Al-Qaeda and Daesh, as well as the under-cover supply of weapons to its proxies.

There’s no mistaking it: the empire is spreading chaos and violence in the Middle East by design and, after Israel, Saudi Arabia is its closest ally in this project. The imperial narrative would like to obfuscate this evil axis by talking endlessly within the framework of a Saudi-Iran power-play based on the Shia-Sunni divide. This also serves the purpose of fanning sectarianism and deepening the divide in the region in order to shape reality as per the imperial design. Trust our media to parrot it all and follow the pied piper without bothering to investigate the issue independently.

So everybody’s calling Ansarullah Houthi rebels, and labeling them Iran-backed Shia militants with no reference to their political struggle or to the non-sectarian composition of the larger resistance in Yemen against the puppets of the empire. Nobody wants to ask why the US was droning weddings, funerals and schools in Yemen? Or why the Yemeni president-on-the-run resigned a few months back? Nobody seems to be perturbed by the glaring contradictions. Why should it be okay for the US and its Nato and Middle Eastern allies to fund, train, arm and unleash barbaric terrorists in Syria to topple its president and not okay for a populist movement in Yemen to dislodge a puppet regime?

The war of aggression against the people of Yemen should not be expected to produce any stability. It will lead to the destruction of another beautiful country and ravage the soul of another society by murdering children, women and innocent civilians. It is designed to strengthen the empire’s agents of chaos and violence, the terrorists of Al-Qaeda and ISIS in the country, foreclosing any possibility of a negotiated settlement between Yemen’s resistance groups and its runaway president.

After all, haven’t we seen the empire at work in the region? What have Iraq, Libya and Syria been reduced to? Whether the intervention has been in the name of fighting terrorism or in the name of freedom and democracy, the result has been the same; death and destruction, decimation of entire societies and the strengthening of various brands of terrorists controlling bigger and bigger territories. These are no frankensteins who have turned upon their creators. They are tools of mayhem chiseled and played like pieces of chess by the empire to push its larger agenda of chaos in the entire region.

It is not good enough to say that Pakistan should not join someone else’s war. We should understand clearly that it is the same war being waged upon us by the very players at the forefront of the attack on Yemen, and by joining them we would only weaken our position against their proxies in our country. The security establishment must not allow our Sharif prime minister, personally indebted to the House of Saud, to use the security of Saudi Arabia and our holy places as an excuse to join the war of aggression against the people of Yemen. The armed forces are doing a good job of defending our country that is itself under attack and they must keep their eyes focused on this primary objective.

Besides, why should the security and integrity of Saudi Arabia that is not under threat be more important to our government than the security and integrity of Pakistan that actually is? And what about the security and integrity of Yemen and the safety of its civilian population that is being murdered by the jets of Saudi Arabia and its allies directed by US and Israeli intelligence? Pakistan should push for a cessation of the military attack on Yemen and work towards a negotiated settlement between Yemeni factions as proposed by China and Russia. Lest we forget, any military intervention in a sovereign state without UN authorization is a war of aggression.

As for the safe custody of our holy places in Makkah and Madina, the issue is important but it must not be confused with the present war. The biggest threat to their security is the alliance of House of Saud with the US and Israel who are known for enacting false flag operations and encouraging their terrorist proxies to destroy the heritage of Muslims. A permanent arrangement under the OIC seems to be the only solution.