Friday, March 21, 2014

Pakistan: PM says troops will not be sent abroad

Source: IRNA

Islamabad, March 20, IRNA -- Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, on Thursday said that Pakistan is not sending its troops to other countries and that there is no truth in such reports.

The remarks came amid speculations in the media that Pakistan has changed its policy towards Syria and could send troops to Saudi Arabia to back the Syrian opposition. The reports appeared after the recent series of level visits to Pakistan by top Saudi leaders.

The current visit of the King of Bahrain to Islamabad once again stirred up speculation that the country could extend military cooperation to Bahrain as the Kingdom is also fighting opposition there.

The major opposition Pakistan Peoples Party had also sought a debate over the government’s foreign policy after Saudi Arabia gifted 1.5 billion US dollars to Pakistan. The opposition alleged that the government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif may have changed policy on Syria.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself rejected all these speculation when he was asked by reporters in eastern Mianwali district where he attended a function by the Pakistan Air Force.

“I dismiss the notion that some countries had asked for assistance of Pakistan’s armed forces to conduct operations in their land,” the Prime Minister said.

“No country has requested Pakistan to send its forces nor Pakistan will send its forces to any other country.”

He stated that recent visits of the leadership of brotherly countries including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait were testimonies of their friendship and must not be linked with such assumptions.

Addressing the ceremony, Nawaz Sharif said that Pakistan was not involved in the arms race but it was neither negligent with regards to its defense.

He added that the army will be made strong from every aspect as it makes the country strong.

“Pakistan is a peace loving country and believes in peaceful coexistence with the neighboring countries. However Pakistan will never withdraw from its sovereignty and dignity at any cost.”