TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said Islamabad under no circumstances would join a military alliance against Iran.
“After Iran, Pakistan has the second largest Shiite population in the world, so how can we even think of joining an anti-Shiite military alliance,” Asif said before Pakistan’s National Assembly on Tuesday, DAWN reported.
This is while Pakistan in January announced its decision to join Saudi Arabia’s so-called anti-terror coalition to fight “terrorism” in the Islamic world, following a meeting between Riyadh’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
“As per my understanding, a collective effort will be made through this coalition, at a diplomatic level and through the media, against forces that are working to create unrest in the Muslim world,” he said, speaking of the so-called coalition.
“At present, 1,125 Pakistani officers are present in Saudi Arabia on various assignments mainly involving training, and the number will only increase in the coming days because the two countries heavily bank upon each other in the field of defense,” he further said.
Saudi Arabia announced the formation of the coalition last year, naming Pakistan as a member, but Islamabad had initially reacted cautiously saying it needed further details before deciding the extent of its participation.
The decision by the monarchy to form the coalition came as confirmed reports suggest that the Royal family along with Qatar have been aiding and abetting the Takfiri terrorist groups operating in Iraq and Syria for a long time, providing them with funds and arms via Turkey.