ISLAMABAD - The government yesterday said it was part of the Saudi-led 34-nation Islamic military coalition to fight terrorism but will not contribute soldiers for any combat mission inside Saudi Arabia or any other country.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Adviser on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Pakistan will share intelligence with the Saudis in the fight against terrorism.

He said Saudi officials had not demanded ground troops and Pakistan will not contribute soldiers for any combat mission inside Saudi Arabia or any other country.

During a briefing to the National Assembly Foreign Affairs Committee, Aziz told lawmakers that there was no pressure on Pakistan and all issues with Saudi Arabia have been settled.

In a statement, Foreign Office spokesperson said Adviser Sartaj Aziz during the in-camera meeting told lawmakers that Islamabad will decide about its role and cooperation in the 34-nation anti-terror coalition after consultative meetings to be hosted soon by Riyadh.

“The facets of cooperation and different activities of the coalition will be decided after consultative meetings which will be hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the near future.”

Awais Khan Leghari, MNA chaired the meeting.

According to the spokesperson, the adviser informed the committee that Pakistan welcomed the formation of the coalition to counter terrorism in keeping with Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to combating terrorism and support for all regional and international efforts to eliminate the menace of terrorism.

Sartaj Aziz said that Saudi Arabia is a close friend of Pakistan and the two countries enjoy multi-faceted cooperation including in the fields of defence and counter terrorism.

Pakistan, he said, has affirmed that any threat to Saudi Arabia’s territorial integrity will evoke strong response from Pakistan, adding the recent high-level contacts between the two countries have further strengthened these ties.

Reiterating Pakistan’s position, he underscored that, in keeping with Pakistan’s unflinching commitment to combating terrorism and support for all regional and international efforts to eliminate the menace, Islamabad welcomed the formation of the coalition to counter terrorism.

On Saudi Arabia-Iran tension, Sartaj Aziz informed the committee that Pakistan would play its role while keeping its national interests and people’s aspirations in view.

Sartaj Aziz told the committee that Pakistan is playing its role to defuse tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

“An emergency meeting of OIC Foreign Ministers has been summoned in Jeddah where Pakistan would present important proposals to reduce Iran-Saudi Arabia tensions.”

He said that Pakistan wishes for peaceful settlement of the Syrian conflict and supports all efforts for resumption of dialogue.

The Chairman of the Committee, Awais Leghari, told media personnel after the briefing that the committee lauded Pakistan’s balanced stance on the Saudi Arabia-Iran conflict.

The announcement comes just two days after Saudi Arabian Defence Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman visited Pakistan and held meetings with Army Chief General Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

While Gen Raheel assured Prince Muhammad bin Salman of a “strong response” to threats to his country’s territorial integrity, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif called for resolving its crisis with Iran through diplomacy and offered Pakistan’s good offices in this regard.

“Pakistan has historically pursued the policy of promoting brotherhood among member States of the OIC. Pakistan has also always expressed its readiness to offer its good offices to brotherly Muslim countries for resolution of their differences,” the Prime Minister was quoted by his office as having told the Saudi Deputy Crown Prince.

The Saudi Arabian Defence Minister’s Islamabad visit had come just three days after Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir held meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to discuss Pakistan’s role in the 34-nation military alliance.

Saudi Arabia last month announced the formation of a 34-state Islamic military coalition to combat terrorism, according to a joint statement published on State news agency SPA.

“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” the statement said.

A long list of Arab countries such as Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, together with Islamic countries Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and Gulf Arab and African states were mentioned.