ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office on Wednesday welcomed the formation of the 34-Nation alliance to counter terrorism but said Islamabad is awaiting further details in this regard to to decide the extent of its participation.
According to a statement issued by Foreign Office, Pakistan, while welcoming the formation of alliance by Saudi Arabia reminded the world that Pakistan has consistently supported all regional and international efforts to combat militancy, extremism and terrorism and, to this end, has extended its full support and cooperation to international community.
“It would be recalled that the Forty-Second Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) held in Kuwait this year had reiterated its commitment to relevant UN and OIC resolutions on combating terrorism and extremism and called for joining regional and international efforts to fight terrorism and extremist thought.” read the statement.
The statement further says that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia enjoy close, cordial, and brotherly relations. Both countries condemn terrorism and cooperate in the efforts to eliminate this menace.
According to a Dawn newspaper report, Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry said he was surprised to read the news that Saudi Arabia had named Pakistan as part of the alliance.
Pakistan not consulted before inclusion
Aizaz Chaudhry said he had asked the country’s ambassador in Riyadh to get a clarification from Saudi Arabia on the matter.
Another senior official also confirmed that Pakistan was not consulted before inclusion in the alliance.
In a statement on Tuesday, the Saudi government surprised many countries by announcing that it had forged a coalition for coordinating and supporting military operations against terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan. The headquarters of the new Saudi-led coalition would be based in Riyadh.
This is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has named Pakistan as part of its military alliances without Islamabad’s knowledge and consent. The Saudis earlier named Pakistan as part of the coalition that carried out operations in Yemen and a Pakistani flag was displayed at the alliance’s media centre.
Pakistan later declined to join the Yemen war.
It is Pakistani government’s policy that it will not deploy its troops outside the country’s borders except for UN peacekeeping missions.