Pakistan may join Saudi led coalition in Yemen fight

Senior Pakistan leaders will arrive in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday as Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif weighs how much support to provide the kingdom in its battle against Shiite rebels in Yemen.

“Pakistan holds Saudi Arabia in very high esteem and considers the security of the holy land of utmost importance,” Sharif’s office said in a statement on Tuesday. “Any violation of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Saudi Arabia would evoke a strong reaction from Pakistan.”

Sharif chaired a ministerial meeting on Tuesday and sought an early evacuation of any Pakistanis in Yemen, according to the statement. Opposition leaders have warned that taking sides could fan sectarian violence in a nation that’s home to the most Shiite Muslims outside of Iran.

“If Pakistan sends its troops to Yemen, or Pakistan gets involved in the Yemen conflict, it would prove to be a divisive development within Pakistan’s domestic context,” Hasan-Askari Rizvi, a Lahore-based analyst who used to teach at Columbia University in New York, said by phone. “Secondly, relations with Iran will get strained.”
Pakistan's internal politics may make it difficult to take overt action in Yemen.  As for Iran, I don't think their relations are all that good in the first place and I would not be surprised if the Iranians have Pakistan in their sites for their new Shia empire.  Finding a way to help defeat the religious bigots in charge of Iran would be a plus for the region and the world.


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