Although every government elected on the basis of popular vote possesses the inherent authority to make action plans according to changing situations and exigencies on the internal and external fronts, Nawaz Sharif government has taken up the matter with the parliament for arriving at the right decisions about the country’s possible role in Yemen crisis. Not only that, the Prime Minister has rather appealed to the parliamentarians to decide what course of action should be adopted particularly after receiving a formal request from Saudi Arabia for extending military support to the latter.
The decision thus made by the parliament would be abided by as assured by the PM himself on the floor of the House during the joint session of the parliament the other day.
This is indeed a manifestation of democratic mindset of the people in the government. This advice has been sought by the Prime Minister in all earnest although sufficient authority vests in his office and in his cabinet, by virtue of their representative capacity (they are representatives of the people and have been democratically elected), to take on the spot decisions in matters of national and international import. Take into consideration the visits of the Prime Ministers of different countries and the signing of agreements and MoUs with other countries. This work is done in good faith in keeping with the priorities and needs of the nations as assessed and gauged sincerely and seriously by their representatives in the governments. No country requires a session of the parliament, whether of one House or both the Houses, before entering into such agreements or before embarking on such tours. It is understood that the elected governments take decisions and actions on the basis of collective wisdom of the people as measured by the people’s representatives who continue giving their take to the government through interaction and through routine sessions of the parliaments.
Sometimes, however, as an exception to this practice, the parliaments are consulted when the countries are faced with complex situations that have borderline dimensions i.e situations which carry ambiguity as to what course should be adopted like the one Pakistan is facing ever since Riyadh formally requested Islamabad to extend military support against possible aggression from rebels that are disrupting peace in the Arabian region close to Saudi borders.
It is not a simple situation to deal with given the fact that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan enjoy very cordial ties. Both the countries are time-tested friends as they have stood the test of times and helped each other in all odd and difficult moments. People still remember the 1979 siege of Masjid Al-Haram by armed rebels who dared violate the inviolable sanctity of the holiest place by entering into the sacred premises and making the pilgrims hostage ultimately leading to the killing of many over there. And the most unfortunate episode of this siege was that the rebels too professed Islamic faith. A few other countries extended help to Saudi Arabia at that time but Pakistan’s military support was quite effective in putting an end to the siege and ensuring the arrest of violators of the Holy Mosque’s sanctity. Pakistanis have a strong bond of love and adoration for the country where the holiest places of Muslims are situated. No Pakistani or for that matter no Muslim of the world will ever like to see the repeat saga of desecration (siege etc) of these holiest places.
Pakistan’s government and the people are on the same page on this point. Likewise, the Pakistani armed services also hold the same opinion. Almost the same opinion has been expressed by the Turkish leaders during Mian Nawaz Sharif’s quick visit to Turkey. This tour was undertaken by Sharif also with the same spirit of mass consultation with all the key players of the region which matter.
So, besides soliciting the opinion of parliamentarians at home with the pledge for implementation, the Sharif government has done equally efficient work on the external front in the shape of PM’s visit to Turkey and regular exchange of views with Islamic and other countries’ dignitaries. Pakistan has actually set into a motion a process of durable peace in the region in keeping with the genuine concerns and threat perception of Saudi Arabia and in strict accordance with Islamabad’s foreign policy of non-alignment with focus on friendship with all especially with good neighbours like Iran. Iranian Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif’s visit to Pakistan is also being viewed as reciprocity of Tehran to Islamabad’s friendly posturing towards Islamic countries and neighbours.
All these endeavours might take a little bit of time to bring about total cessation of hostilities but they will definitely lead to lessening of tensions besides clear identification of the aggressor party. They will also convey strong messages to the trouble-makers not to play with fire lest it engulfs the whole region and the world in a never-ending imbroglio.