ISLAMABAD: Federal Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Sunday hit out at the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for condemning a unanimous resolution by Pakistani lawmakers to stay out of the conflict in Yemen, in a rare display of discord between the two allies.
Pakistan’s Parliament on Friday passed a resolution backing the government’s commitment to protect Saudi Arabia’s territory from Houthi rebels, but declined Riyadh’s request for Pakistani troops, ships and warplanes inside Yemen.
Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, lashed out at Pakistan’s vote Saturday, terming it “contradictory and dangerous and unexpected”, and accusing Islamabad of siding with Iran, which is accused of backing Houthi rebels.
Gargash added that Pakistan’s stand would come at a “high cost.”
But Nisar hit back on Sunday night in an unusually strongly-worded statement, accusing the UAE of “levelling threats.”
“This is not only ironic but a thought-provoking moment that a minister of UAE is hurling threats at Pakistan. The statement of the UAE minister is in stark violation of all diplomatic norms prevalent according to the principals of international relations,” Nisar said.
“Pakistan is an honoured nation and has brotherly emotions for the people of UAE along with Saudi Arabia, but this statement of an Emirati minister is equal to an offence against the ego of Pakistan and its people and is unacceptable.”
He said Pakistan was the first country to recognise UAE’s independence in 1971 and the two Sunni Muslim-majority countries have close economic ties.
The UAE is a major investor in Pakistan, while around 1.4 million Pakistani expatriates work in the Gulf state sending home remittances that are vital for the South Asian country’s economy.