So today the world faces with yet another conflict, yet again in the middle east. As Saudi Arabia allied with the United States dives into Yemen to take total control and ‘save’ the people of Yemen, one cant help but think of so many other points in history where the United States was committed to saving states from collapsing into total chaos, Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan being prime examples, Afghanistan to a lesser extent. Iraq today is in ruins, as the people were ‘saved from the tyrants’, they were left in chaos and no sense of control, only to be conquered by a great tyrant. The primary reason for the rise of the ISIS is because Iraq was left an unstable and weak state when the US left after oil exploring endeavors, the new Libyan state still awaits to face that new tyrant while it goes through total chaos and no stability in the entire state.
The United States has been carrying out drone strikes in Yemen for quite some time in order to counter the presence of the Al-Qaida in Yemen, one of Al-Qaida’s strongest presence. Continuous terror activities and not efficient counter terrorism has left Yemen as a weak and unstable state. As Yemen lost stability by the progression of time, it came with the rise of the Houthi Rebels. The Houthis have been rebelling against the Yemeni government on grounds of being unable to handle the current situation in the country and failure to protect the rights of the Shia minority. It shook the world when the Houthi rebels took control of the Yemenite Capital Sa’naa after a few month long advance, later a peace treaty was brokered by the UN to establish a balance of power in the country. This deal not only removed the tag of Houthi rebels being non state actors, it made them a stakeholder in the government and showed to the world that the UN was willing to consider the Houthi demands as they may have seen some sense in it.
Yet regardless of the progress that has been made, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes against Yemen, supported wholeheartedly by the US. One must understand that this aggression took its course as the Yemenite population needed to be ‘Saved’, as claimed by the aggressors. Saved from whom? The houthi rebels? Maybe. But what about the Al-Qaida? In a bid to save the crumbling Sunni government of President Hadi, the Shia aggressor must be stopped as they pose a threat to the people of Yemen, this has effectively diverted the world’s war against terrorism, the Al-Qaida is not the main party that is being attacked, it is indeed the Houthis, so today the US-Saudi alliance has set its priorities straight, crushing rebellions rather than crushing terrorism, this conflict of the Houthis and Saudi Arabia is only going to help and strengthen Al Qaida as they will no longer be the main target of aggression, it is likely that they will be asked for help in the fight against the houthis as we saw in the training of the mujahideen army during the Afghan war or supporting of the rebels in Syria, who were also aided by terrorist organizations. This conflict has no longer been allowed to remain a rebellion by the people against the government, it has unfortunately turned into a sectarian clash between the Shias and the Sunnis, a battle front for a proxy war between Iran(supportive of the houthi rebels) and US-Saudi Alliance. It is extremely important for the Shias and Sunnis to keep aside their differences and unite in order to ensure peace, although this seems like a distant dream when so many nations are committed to keeping the two sects apart. We have seen major shifts in the policies of the United States when they chose to support rebel groups in Syria, they claimed that a tyrannical ruler must fall, here they fight against the rebels where they claim that rebels are the true tyrants, however one element remains consistent, fighting a proxy war between Iran and its allies, regardless of consequences.
As the Saudi kingship prepares for a ground offensive against Yemen, they have asked The Pakistan government for military help in order to fight this ‘menace’. Pakistan today stands on cross roads, which way will Pakistan choose to progress? Will it take the route it took with the Afghan conflict? actively engage in the battle front and fight until victory is achieved or will Pakistan stand on the sidelines? Pakistan has made very clear that the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia will be protected and upheld by them if the time came, but what about the territorial integrity of Yemen? Will Pakistan go down the same road as it did with the Afghan war and see itself become the victim of vicious tyrants when the world allies are done and leave impending doom? Pakistan today has the chance of either going towards Saudi Arabia, this will effectively put to ruins its relations with neighboring Iran or Pakistan can chose to mediate peace between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which it is in a position to do so due to strong ties with both nations. Right now Pakistan fights a war against terror in its own country, terrorist groups are being targeted and crushed in the tribal areas, major cities being cleaned up by targetted operation, a rebellion in its western Province of Balochistan and regular border skirmishes with arch rival India also a continuous fight in the North, at Siachen. Pakistan already has too much on its plate, will Pakistan still progress towards filling up her plate even more by taking the front line in this battle to ‘Save’ Yemen or choose to learn from the mistakes of its past. The world needs a stable middle east, regions such as Iraq and Syria only add to the impending doom of the continent and bring the third great war closer and closer. Launching ground offensives against various groups in countries just because they do not agree with the West will not contribute to stability, the only ones who gain from it are enemies of peace and perpetrators of violence, the terrorists. In Yemen’s case, indeed Al-Qaida will be the chief benefactor.What step Pakistan decides to take will be extremely important in deciding where this conflict leads to. Which path will Pakistan take? Front line aggressor or the Middleman?