Govt asked to stay away from Saudi war against Yemen

KARACHI: The representatives of trade unions and labour support organizations have called upon the government to stay away from intervening in Saudi Arabia’s war against Yemen and recall the soldiers currently stationed in that country on security duties or participating in joint military exercises.

In a joint statement after the conclusion of their meeting held at PILER Centre here the labour leaders said the people of Pakistan cannot afford to let their government commit this folly. “We urge upon the Parliament to reject Pakistan’s involvement in any such war-like venture. The only legitimate role Pakistan may play in this situation should be to facilitate the resolution of the conflict by peaceful means,” said the statement endorsed by Habib Junaidi of All Pakistan Trade Union Organization, Shafiq Ghauri of Sindh Labour Federation, Jalil Shah of KPT Labour Union, Shafi Siyal of Peoples workers union, Pak Steel, Ms. Rehana Yasmin of Hosiery Garment Union Sindh, Zafar Abbas and Sanobar Khan of SESSI Employees Union, Mehboob ur Rehman of WAPDA union, Mohammad Usman of IUF Pakistan, Muqadar Zaman of Railway Mazdoor Union, Lateef Mughal of Peoples Labour Bureau, Abdul Lateef Nizamani, President All Pakistan WAPDA Hydroelectric Union, Abdur Razzak of Pakistan Transport and general workers union, Shaikh Majeed of PIA Skyways Union, Ms. Rafia Gulani of SDWO Sindh, Nawab Ali and Sagheer Shah of Hosiery Garment Union Sindh, Abdul Kareem, Mohammad Iqbal and Jan Mohammad of PICT, Karamat Ali, B.M.Kutty and Sharafat Ali of PILER.

The statement said that the labour leaders view with deep concern the disturbing ambiguity in the policy being pursued by the Government of Pakistan as regards Pakistan’s possible role in the ongoing armed intervention by Saudi Arabia in the internal conflict within Yemen.

It is our considered opinion that in the backdrop of the disastrous consequences of Pakistan’s uncalled for involvement in America’s war in Afghanistan, which we are still facing in the shape of widespread religious intolerance and terrorism across the country, and while Pakistan’s armed forces are already engaged in an all-out war to eliminate this menace, it will be the height of folly to push the country into a war being fought far away from our borders under any pretext.

Secondly, in the event of Pakistan getting embroiled in the Saudi-Yemen war or any warlike activity for that matter, it is the working class and the poor and marginalised sections of the society, besides women and children, who will be forced to bear the brunt of the economic, social and political consequences of such a war.

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