Pakistan minister defends planned deployment to Saudi Arabia
ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistan’s defense minister says the planned deployment of 1,000 troops to Saudi Arabia does not violate a parliamentary resolution against taking part in combat operations in Yemen.
Khurram Dastigir told the Senate on Monday that the troops would be training and advising Saudi forces in line with a bilateral agreement and would not see combat.
Saudi Arabia has been seeking Pakistani military support for its intervention in Yemen, where it has been leading a coalition battling Houthi rebels since March 2015.
Pakistan’s parliament unanimously passed a resolution three years ago saying it would not contribute combat troops to the alliance.
Dastigir says Pakistani forces have mountain warfare and counterterrorism skills that could be useful for Saudi troops.