Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif says Pakistan and Turkey are in close contact with each other to find amicable solution to Middle East crisis.

Addressing the Joint Session of the Parliament in Islamabad on Tuesday (April 7), he said the Turkish President held talks with Saudi Interior Minister and he is expected to hold a meeting with the Iranian President today.

The Prime Minister said the Turkish President is likely to take him into confidence on these talks and then, a future course of action will be decided.

He said we will also contact the leadership of Indonesia and Malaysia on the matter.

He said Iran should review its policy about Yemen .

The Prime Minister assured the Parliament that the government will formulate its policy on the Middle East crisis keeping in view sentiments of the elected representatives.

He said the government has concealed nothing from the Parliament. However, this is a sensitive issue and we should take utmost care.

He said we have also held talks with the military and the Foreign Office is also playing a proactive role.

Nawaz Sharif categorically said that Pakistan will stand shoulder to shoulder with Saudi Arabia in case of any threat to its territorial integrity.

Earlier, taking part in the debate, the leader of National Party, Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo said the government should pursue diplomacy and dialogue for the peaceful solution of Yemen crisis.

He said dynamics of politics are reshaping in the Middle East. Pakistan should adopt a sagacious approach for better relations with the entire Arab world and Iran.

Ameer Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) Sirajul Haq said Pakistan, Turkey and Iran should play the role of mediator for peaceful solution of Saudi-Yemen conflict.

Sirajul Haq said a parliamentary delegation comprising members from different sects should be formed and sent to different Islamic countries to find an amicable solution of Yemen crisis.

Haji Ghulam Ahmad Bilour of the ANP said Pakistan has excellent relations with Saudi Arabia and it has always stood by Pakistan in the hour of trial. However, we should stay away from this conflict and only play the role of mediator.

He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif should take along other Muslim rulers for the early resolution of Yemeni crisis.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed of PML-Q said we feel indebted to Saudi Arabia for its resolute support to Pakistan in difficult times. The brotherly country had provided free oil when Pakistan faced sanctions following nuclear tests.

He said Yemen conflict is not a sectarian issue but a tribal struggle for power.

Mushahid Hussain Sayed said Pakistan and Turkey should co-host the meeting of Saudi and Iranian Foreign Ministers to remove their apprehensions against each other. Pakistan should also ask China to move a resolution in the UN Security Council seeking ceasefire in Yemen .

Leader of the Opposition in National Assembly Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah said the Parliament should take a decision on Yemeni issue by keeping in view country’s national interests.

He said an in-camera session could be convened for more open discussion on the issue.

Farhatullah Babar said that Pakistan could offer training of troops in difficult terrain, intelligence sharing and medical relief in response to Saudi request for military assistance. He said this help is not in conflict with our national interests. He said Pakistan should not become part of a civil war in distant land.

Dr Ghazi Gulab Jamal said Organization of Islamic Cooperation should play a leading role in the settlement of Saudi-Yemeni conflict. He said Pakistan should not become part of this conflict as the country is already faced with many problems.

Ijaz Ul Haq proposed that a meeting of big Islamic countries should be convened to discuss the proposal of establishment of peacekeeping force of Muslims. He said had there been a peacekeeping force of Muslims, the current Middle East crisis would not have occurred. He also expressed concerns over the toppling of legitimate Yemeni government by Houthi rebels.

Dr Jahanzaib Jamaldini noted that conflicts within Muslim Ummah have distorted the image of Islam. He said we should not interfere in the matters of any other country and our main focus should be on resolving our internal problems.

The Parliament will now meet on Wednesday morning at 10:30.

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