Pakistan renews security assurance to Saudi Arabia
Islamabad, July 6 (IANS) Pakistan has renewed its security assurance to Saudi Arabia after a string of bombings took place in the kingdom, including one outside Masjid e-Nabwi in Madina, the second-holiest site in Islam.
The government “reiterates its abiding commitment to the safety, security and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia”, Dawn online quoted the country’s Foreign Office as saying in a statement on Tuesday.
Pakistan’s Foreign Office statement referred to the terror attacks in Madina, Qatif and Jeddah on Monday.
The Jeddah attack was carried out by a Pakistani national. He came to Saudi Arabia 12 years ago to work as a taxi driver.
The assurance was made after Pakistani Army Chief General Raheel Sharif spoke over the phone with Saudi Defence Minister Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
“The COAS sympathised with the families of the attack victims and said we stand shoulder to shoulder with our Saudi brothers in fighting the menace of terrorism,” the ISPR said in a statement.
Pakistan has a longstanding agreement with Saudi Arabia guaranteeing Riyadh’s security. The understanding last year came into question when Pakistan did not send troops for joining the kingdom’s invasion of Yemen.
Islamabad later made amends by joining a Saudi-led 34-nation military alliance against terrorism even though it kept claiming for long that it was not clear about its details.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, in a statement issued on Tuesday by his office, called for unity among Muslim countries in the fight against terrorism and extremism.
“Ummah in particular needs to forge unity at this critical moment to foil the nefarious designs of enemies of humanity and Ummah. We need to renew collective efforts to fight the menace of terrorism,” Sharif said.
Emphasising the unity in the fight against terrorism, he recalled the attacks by militants, mostly belonging to the Islamic State terror group, in Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh during the holy period of Ramadan.
The statement said Sharif had emphasised on unity in counter-terrorism efforts “in the wake of increasing acts of terrorism and extremism across the continents”.