Pakistan is a peace loving country and is progressing at a good pace says Ambassador Motahar Alashabi
ISLAMABAD, Ambassador of Yemen to Pakistan Mohammed Motahar Alashabi on Sunday termed Pakistan ‘a peace loving country’ and appreciated its ‘peace building’ efforts in Yemen.
“Pakistan is a peace loving country and is progressing at a good pace,” the envoy said in an exclusive interview with News and Current Affairs Channel of Radio Pakistan.
MotaharAlashabi said his country and Pakistan were intertwined in shared bonds of religion, culture and values, enjoying ‘excellent’ brotherly relations.
He said Yemen and Pakistan established diplomatic relations in 1981 by establishing their respective embassies in Islamabad and Sana’a.
Both countries shared views on important regional and international issues of concern, besides reciprocating each other at various world forums, he added.
He said around three hundred Yemeni students were studying at various institutions of higher learning in Pakistan as part of bilateral cooperation.
Referring to trade potential between the two countries, MotaharAlashabi said the volume of commerce between Yemen and Pakistan needed much to be desired and could be enhanced in the years to come.
He said Pakistan exported food items like wheat, rice, cereals as well as leather and medical goods to Yemen.
The ambassador said Pakistan was blessed with scenic and historic places with lot of potential in tourism.
Commenting on the conflict raging in Yemen for the last seven years, he said the ordinary people were paying the price of power struggle between warring groups.
Criticizing the Houthi rebels, he said the militant group was perpetrating conflict against the legitimate government of Yemen and wanted to rule the country by force.
He said the group had been part of various negotiations but resorted to violence to achieve their political objectives.
Mentioning diplomatic efforts at various levels to stop war in his country, the Ambassador said the government of Yemen had supported peace initiatives and participated in various international forums to defuse the situation. It also tried to start a national dialogue for peace.
MotaharAlashabi said their main concern was to stop the violence and killing as majority of Yemenis were tired of the war.
The Yemeni ambassador said the rebels were not sparing even mosques, homes and businesses of ordinary people in this war.
He said there were also incidents of enforced disappearances and other crimes against civilians committed by the rebels.
Appreciating the role of Saudi Arabia, the ambassador said Riyadh had been providing food and other essential supplies to Yemeni people but the most of it did not reach to them due to blockage by rebels.
He said Saudi Arabian government was also taking steps to bring down the conflict, but the militant group in Yemen was not sincere in stopping it.
As regards to rapprochement between Saudi Arabia and Iran lately, especially the meeting held in Baghdad in recent weeks, he said the Yemeni government hoped that few positive result would come out of these negotiations.
He said Yemeni government believed that the United Nations and international community would play their role in bringing peace in Yemen and the region.
“The only solution is the complete stoppage of war and holding of peace talks. In 2014 we were about to have referendum and elections and new system to solve all our problems, but unfortunately it could not lateralize due to intransigence of Houthis,” he maintained.
He said the only viable solution of Yemeni conflict was to stop the war and holding elections to give democracy a chance to flourish in the country.