An air strike conducted by the Saudi led alliance of Arab countries in their bid to ‘protect the integrity of Saudi Arabia,’ killed 45 people at a camp for displaced people in northwest Yemen as the Arab warplanes bombard rebels around the country. What more, the Saudi led airstrikes are acting on ground intelligence provided by the US military. Now Yemen people get the same medicine that our tribal areas have been getting for so many years and the accompanying claims that there was no or hardly any what they call cynically ‘collateral damage’. And while IOM is only protesting, it is Russia that has called up an emergency UN Security Council session, to pause Saudi-led coalition airstrikes for humanitarian purposes in an effort to quell violence that is impacting civilians. Moscow is calling for a diplomatic solution to the conflict, emphasizing that foreign military intervention would only lead to more civilian deaths while Iran has already been highlighting that only a negotiated solution can help and spare Yemenites from more death and destruction.

While Pakistan is endlessly debating ‘if and how’ to join the Saudi coalition it would be more prudent to join the forces, that are calling for reason and ceasefire. Pakistan has been suffering from such drone attacks that have killed and injured thousands and brought misery to the people. We should take an example for a change from our neighbor India that has been openly supporting a political solution of the Yemeni crisis and supported a UN resolution to that end. It is against Pakistan’s national interest to take the side of the Saudi-led war coalition that is bombing, not only refugee camps but civilian installations, like dairy producing units, thus destroying the basis in Yemen.


Karachi, April 4.