Right to pro­tect our bor­ders

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

to re­spond to the per­ceived threat in the best pos­si­ble man­ner.

Let us not for­get the re­cent Rus­sian in­ter­ven­tion in Ukraine and the an­nex­a­tion of Crimea. By cit­ing these ex­am­ples, I don’t in­tend to jus­tify or crit­i­cize these ac­tions. That is another de­bate. What I want to high­light is that ev­ery coun­try acts in self-de­fense or to pro­tect its peo­ple and its bor­ders. A coun­try like the US, in or­der to stop the in­flux of peo­ple cross­ing its bor­ders, went as far as ex­pand­ing bor­der bar­ri­ers and fences with its south­ern neigh­bor­ing coun­try, Mex­ico.

Now, let us talk about Saudi Ara­bia and its neigh­bor­ing coun­try, the Repub­lic of Ye­men. A few days ago, the United Na­tions is­sued a re­port, which was not based on cred­i­ble statis­tics and ground re­al­i­ties. These an­a­lysts usu­ally tend to ig­nore the his­tor­i­cal ties be­tween Saudi Ara­bia and Ye­men.

I will not talk about the mil­lions of Ye­me­nis liv­ing and work­ing in the King­dom since decades and I will not dis­cuss the mas­sive amounts of fi­nan­cial or eco­nomic aid that Saudi Ara­bia had given to the Ye­me­nis in the past and present. And there is no need to talk about the amount of money Ye­me­nis trans­fer to their fam­i­lies back in Ye­men. I will also not men­tion the mas­sive in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment that Saudi Ara­bia had done in Ye­men. So, the ques­tion is why would Saudi Ara­bia de­stroy a coun­try that it helped build and why would it at­tack peo­ple of a coun­try that are an in­te­gral part of the Saudi so­ci­ety. Saudis deal with Ye­meni men, women and chil­dren in Saudi Ara­bia on a daily bases. Our schools, homes and hospi­tals are open for them and many of them had been in the King­dom for many years.

Saudi Ara­bia has never hes­i­tated in go­ing the ex­tra mile to help Ye­men and the Ye­me­nis. As a mat­ter of fact, Saudi Ara­bia even tried to rid the Ye­me­nis of the Qat (Khat) chew­ing habit, which is de­stroy­ing the fab­ric of the Ye­meni so­ci­ety.

So, why would a re­spected or­ga­ni­za­tion like the UN think a coun­try like Saudi Ara­bia in­tends to de­stroy Ye­men and hurt the Ye­me­nis?

When hos­til­i­ties broke out about a year ago in Ye­men, it wasn’t some­thing that Saudi Ara­bia had planned for or wanted. Saudi Ara­bia shares more than 1,800 kilo­me­ters of rugged bor­ders and it is in our in­ter­est to see a happy, pros­per­ous and sta­ble Ye­men. And the Saudiled coali­tion was in­tended to sta­bi­lize Ye­men and re­store the le­git­i­mate gov­ern­ment that was top­pled by the Iran-backed Houthis.

Even at the start of the con­flict Saudi Ara­bia had an­nounced that the ac­tion was taken be­cause of the di­rect threat to the King­dom. The Saudi-led ac­tion wasn’t aimed at a par­tic­u­lar sect. It was aimed at sta­bi­liz­ing Ye­men and pro­tec­tion of our bor­ders.

The Saudi-led coali­tion made ev­ery ef­fort to avoid civil­ian causal­i­ties. This is the rea­son behind us­ing very pre­cise and very ex­pen­sive mu­ni­tions for min­i­mal dam­age. And this doesn’t mean de­stroy­ing any tar­get for the sake of de­stroy­ing it but only if it is a threat like Scud Mis­sile launcher.

The re­port that the United Na­tions has re­leased lacks ac­cu­racy and the re­port goes as far as ad­dress­ing Houthis as a le­git­i­mate en­tity at a time all peo­ple in Ye­men know about the heinous crimes com­mit­ted by these mil­i­tants.

At the end of the day, it is not the United Na­tions or any other coun­try that has the cure to the pro­longed agony and dilemma of the Ye­me­nis. Ye­men has gone through far more dif­fi­cult times than any other coun­try. The Ye­me­nis have ex­pe­ri­enced civil wars, bloody mil­i­tary coups and in­ter­nal and tribal fight­ing. It is high time the Ye­me­nis forged unity among their ranks, and said no to all type of vi­o­lence and started tak­ing ac­tion for the re­con­struc­tion of their coun­try. Saudi Ara­bia is ready for a truce provided Houthis put down their arms.

—Cour­tesy: Arab News

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