LAHORE - As the temperatures are rising in the Arab world about engaging Pakistani troops in Saudi-Yemen episode, members of the security establishment have proposed to raise a force comprising reserve corps of the army for sending them to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to defend the holy places and territorial integrity of the time-tested friend and brotherly Muslim state.

Background interviews with security establishment members in the wake of UAE state minister for foreign affairs on Saturday, security services members have suggested to raise an army consisting of ex-servicemen who fall in the reserve list of the Pakistan Army for sending them to KSA if need arises to defend the holy places and territorial integrity of the Kingdom.

They strongly proposed that Pakistan must not commit herself further than the limits of Saudi Arabia by employing the services of retired soldiers if the need arises to do so. Pakistan should not engage herself on Yemeni soil under any circumstances.

UAE State Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammad Gargash talking to Gulf newspaper had warned Pakistan of having to pay a heavy price for taking on what he called an ambiguous stand on escalating crisis in Yemen.

Pakistani lawmakers’ advised the government through a resolution on Yemen to remain neutral and it should play a mediating role and not get involved in the fighting in Yemen.

Former commander 1 Strike Corps Mangla Lt-Gen (r) Ghulam Mustafa when contacted to share his professional opinion on the issue proposed, “We can raise an army comprising ex-soldiers who are in good health and fighting condition and retired in the last two years to send the same to KSA if the need arises. ”

When asked about sending serving soldiers, he remarked, “We can send some small sorties which may not exceed the strength of a brigade as we are already engaged on too many internal fronts of terrorisms, besides on the Line of Control (LoC).”

He warned, “We should remember one thing that once we send our security assistance under threat we would be asked to do more by our Arab friends.”

General Ghulam Mustafa who also raised the strategic force command in Pak Army also cautioned against committing forces in the Yemen under any circumstances as it could be a long-drawn war that has the capacity to destroy any fighting force.

Commenting over the UAE foreign affairs state minister’s statement, he observed, “The statement has been given by the UAE foreign affairs state minister with the backing of the KSA to put pressure on Pakistan.”

He added that parliament’s resolution on Yemen carried a clause which guaranteed security assistance to KSA if its territorial integrity and safety of the holy places came under threat. So Pakistan had not refused to help its Arab friends.

Ex-DG Inter-Services Intelligence and Military Intelligence, Lt-Gen (r) Hameed Gul when reached suggested, “We can launch an emergency mobilisation to assemble ex-soldiers to raise an army to protect the holy places and the Kingdom itself whenever there is a real threat surfaces.”

He added, “There is a Reserve Liability list in the Pak Army which carries the names of the ex-soldiers who can be called in times of high priority to aid the serving soldiers. We can find thousands of ex-soldiers who are fit to fight and raise an army to protect the holy places as well as our time-tested friends of brotherly Muslim states.”

General Hameed who also commanded II Strike Corps, Multan observed, “I don’t see any imminent threat to KSA at the moment, as the developments in Yemen so far doesn’t hint at the possibilities of threatening the regimes around them.”

Giving his observations over UAE minister’s statement, he remarked, “It is unfortunate but we should wait for few days as I believe that situation will change when Pakistani emissaries will engage the Yemen commander Abdul Malik Houthi who has expressed willingness for dialogue.”

He added, “Pakistan is trying to develop minimum working cooperation between Middle Eastern States, especially KSA and Iran in an effort to isolate Israel which can get benefit from war among the Muslims.”

About the Arab friends high expectations from Pakistan, he observed, “Sometimes our men in power make some promises with our Arab friends in private meetings that raise the level of their hopes to the maximum like former strongman, Gen (r) Pervez Musharraf took an individual promise of NRO with state’s friend to prolong his regime.”

About engaging Pakistani forces in Yemen if the talks fail, he remarked, “We should not commit reserve and regular troops under any circumstances on Yemeni soil.”