Pakistan to Send Troops to Saudi Arabia to Train and Advise

Pakistan to Send Troops to  Saudi Arabia to Train and AdvisePakistan to Send Troops to  Saudi Arabia to Train and Advise

Pakistan is sending troops to ally Saudi Arabia on a “training and advise mission”, the military said, three years after it decided against sending soldiers to join the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

The exact role the troops will play was unclear, but a statement from the army’s press wing on Thursday stressed they “will not be employed outside” the kingdom, Reuters reported.

Pakistan’s retired army chief, General Raheel Sharif, commands the new Saudi-led Islamic military alliance that says want to fight terrorism, though it was not immediately clear whether the new troops would participate in that coalition.

Saudi Arabia had asked fellow Pakistan to provide ships, aircraft and troops for the Yemen campaign to fight Houthi fighters in neighboring Yemen that Riyadh claims are supported by Iran.

Pakistan’s parliament voted to remain neutral to avoid being pulled into a sectarian regional power struggle, in part because the country shares a border with Iran.

Pakistani military analyst retired Brigadier Shaukat Qadir said talks involving sending troops to Saudi Arabia had been ongoing for some time.

“Now, apparently, for whatever reason, the decision has been taken,” he said.

There are already about 750-800 Pakistani servicemen in Saudi Arabia, in part to guard Islamic holy sites, but they are not combat troops.

Pakistani Senate on Friday summoned defense minister Khurram Dastgir to appear before the Upper House of Parliament on Monday with regards to the army’s announcement of sending troops to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan Today reported.

MP Farhatullah Babar raised objections over the army’s deployment to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, terming the development as “tantamount to bypassing the parliament”.


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