ISLAMABAD/DUBAI - The UAE on Saturday strongly condemned the Pakistani decision to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, rejecting Saudi request to join its military coalition against Houthi rebels.
“The Arabian Gulf is in a dangerous confrontation, its strategic security is on the edge and the moment of truth distinguishes between a real ally and an ally of media and statements,” Dr Gargash tweeted after the unanimous resolution passed by the joint session of Pakistan’s Parliament that opted for neutrality against the Saudi request to join strikes on rebels in Yemen.
Gargash, quoted by Khaleej Times, said Pakistan was required to show a clear stand in favour of its strategic relations with the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council as contradictory and ambiguous views on this serious matter will have to pay a price.
“This is nothing but another chapter of laggard impartial stand,” Gargash said in reference to Pakistan’s parliament resolution that desired impartiality in the wake of turmoil in Yemen.
“The vague and contradictory stands of Pakistan and Turkey are an absolute proof that Arab security, from Libya to Yemen, is the responsibility of only Arab countries, though the crisis is a real test for the neighbouring countries,” The UAE minister asserted.
The Parliament’s resolution, however, backed the government’s resolve to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory, which has so far not been threatened by the conflict.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Gargash warned Pakistan of having to pay a “heavy price” for adopting what he called an “ambiguous stand”.  “This is nothing but another chapter of laggard impartial stand,” Gargash said, criticising identical views held by Turkey and Iran about the armed conflict in Yemen, as affirmed by the Turkish foreign minister, who had said a political way out of the crisis is the responsibility of Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia.
Tehran seems to be more important to Islamabad and Ankara than the Gulf countries, Gargash added. “Though our economic and investment assets are inevitable, political support is missing at critical moments,” Gargash said.
The Pakistan parliament resolution turned down longstanding ally Riyadh’s request for troops, ships and warplanes, saying: “Pakistan should play a mediating role and not get involved in fighting in Yemen.”
“The Parliament of Pakistan underscores the need for continued efforts by the government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis,” it said.
“The Parliament desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis.”
Gargash said the Pakistani parliament’s rejection of intervention in Yemen is unexpected from Islamabad.
Meanwhile, Pakistan on Saturday expressed ignorance over the statement of UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash who has condemned Islamabad’s decision to stay out of the Yemen conflict.
Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam, in a text message circulated to journalists, expressed total ignorance about the reaction of UAE to Pakistan’s neutral stance on the crisis.
“We don’t have any confirmation of what exactly has been said and by whom. There are different versions. I have no comments at the moment,” Tasnim Aslam replied to a text message when asked about Islamabad’s reaction to the UAE minister who had condemned Pakistan’s decision to remain neutral.
The Foreign Office spokesperson, however, did not reply to a text message whether Islamabad had any intention to summon UAE’s ambassador for explaining whether Gargash stands by his statements attributed to him about Pakistan’s parliament decision on Yemen.
Though the Foreign Office expressed complete ignorance about the reaction of Dr Gargash to Islamabad’s neutrality in the conflict, the UAE minister’s statement about Pakistan was widely discussed and criticised on social media in the country.
“Did Arabs send troops to Pakistan during any war or to combat terrorism?” M Mohsin Shahzad said in a tweet in reaction to the statement of Dr Gargash.
In fact, a significant number of social media users that included politicians and students asked Pakistan’s Foreign Office to give a tit-for-tat reply to what the UAE’s minister had said about the democratic decision of the Parliament.
“So when is Pakistan’s Foreign Office issuing a statement against the UAE for callings its parliament decision ambiguous on the Yemen crisis?” Dr A Yousafzai said in a tweet that was acknowledged by Awami National Party’s former MNA Bushra Gohar.

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