Islamabad - Civil society in a statement issued on Monday opposed Pakistan’s likely involvement in the Yemen conflict , saying the government should seek to address internal problems instead of getting entangled in others’ conflicts.

A statement endorsed by eight civil society organizations and 21 activists said, “The strength of a country must not be measured by its ability to fight wars, but rather by its ability to prevent them.”  The statement was issued as the joint session of the Parliament opened to debate Saudi Arabia’s call for joining an Arab military alliance to fight Yemen’s Houthi militia.

The civil society statement said, “Our government thinks that Pakistani citizens have no say on this vital issue. But we do. We demand that Pakistan must not compromise its armed forces into a mercenary force up for rent; that we deal with our own problems rather than seeking new conflicts in distant lands and taking sides in a complex situation.”

The civil society maintained that Pakistan has not learned from its mistakes in the past and recalled the bombing of Palestinian refugees in Jordan (Black September 1970).