Imran Khan to mediate in Yemen War
Gulf crisis is being spilled over to Pakistan. Amidst Khashoggi murder allegations and faced with self-created Yemen crisis, Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to mediate to end Yemen conflict, triggered by Riyadh-led coalition in 2015, aimed to re-instate its favored President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi.
This was announced by not less than Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan, during his address to the nation on Wednesday evening, on his return from the Kingdom. He informed the nation of Saudi Arabia’s favor extending $ 6 billion bail-out package, a big relief for Pakistan.
The second major announcement he made was that cricket-turned politician would mediate between Saudi Arabia and Yemen to end their ongoing conflict. The Houthi Ansarullah fighters, who control most of the country’s territory, have been retaliating with missiles and drones for attacking Kingdom’s border areas as well as capital Riyadh during last few months.
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He said that he expected Saudi Arabia-like monetary assistance from two other friendly countries after which the government might not need to seek as big a loan from the IMF, as has been planned earlier. He did name the two friendly countries, he is eyeing for help.
He expressed gratitude to Saudi leadership for helping Pakistan at a time of need. He travelled to the Kingdom along with his key cabinet members to Riyadh where he attended the Future Investment Initiative Conference. He said, “We could go into default but the ‘tremendous’ financial package from Saudi Arabia has relieved our burden.”
Dawn reports that it is believed that Imran Khan also discussed with the Saudi leaders the conflict in neighboring Yemen. He announced that Pakistan would play the role of a mediator in the war.
He reportedly said, “One more important thing I want to share with you that I will make all-out efforts to get resolved Saudi Arabia-Yemen conflict by acting as a mediator. We will also try our best to play a mediatory role in bringing all the Muslim nations together.”
Imran Khan criticized previous governments for heavy debt burden on the country. He said the country’s total foreign debt before 1970 stood at Rs30 billion. It swelled to Rs 6,000 billion in next 40 years, he said, adding that it surged to Rs30,000 billion only in the last decade.