Pakistani leaders call attack on Saudi oil facilities attack on Pakistan

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A picture taken on May 13, 2019 off the coast of the Gulf emirate of Fujairah shows reporters taking images of the Saudi oil tanker Al-Marzoqah, one of the four tankers damaged in alleged "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf the previous day. Saudi Arabia said two of its oil tankers were damaged in mysterious "sabotage attacks" in the Gulf as tensions soared in a region already shaken by a standoff between the United States and Iran. (Source - Emirati National Media Council)
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An oil tanker is being loaded at Saudi Aramco's Ras Tanura oil refinery and oil terminal in Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 15 May 2019

Pakistani leaders call attack on Saudi oil facilities attack on Pakistan

  • "This is sheer act of terrorism," ruling party lawmaker Vawda says
  • Attack on two oil pumping stations by bomb-carrying drones caused a fire, now contained

ISLAMABAD: Major Pakistani political parties on Tuesday condemned an attack on two Saudi oil pumping stations by bomb-carrying drones, just days after four tankers were attacked at anchor off the UAE coast, saying the enemies of Saudi Arabia were tantamount to being the enemies of Pakistan.

The energy minister of the world’s largest oil exporter said the attack caused a fire, now contained, and minor damage at one pump station, but did not disrupt oil output or exports of crude and petroleum products.

Saudi Aramco later confirmed the attack in a statement, stating that it had “responded to a fire at East West Pipeline Pump station 8 which was caused by a sabotage incident using armed drones which targeted pump stations 8 and 9.”

Federal minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader Faisal Vawda condemned the attack and said Pakistan, itself a major victim of terrorism, would stand by the Kingdom.

"This is sheer act of terrorism which should be strongly condemned by the world community," he said.  "We have strong bonds with Saudi Arabia and have always been on its side whenever terrorists have tried to destabilize it."

“Attacking Saudi Arabia is like attacking Pakistan,” opposition Pakistan Peoples Party leader Senator Sehar Kamran told Arab News. “Saudi Aramco recently announced it would establish a $10 bn oil refinery in Pakistan. This is a huge investment. Attacking Aramco is not only an attack on Saudi Arabia’s interests but also the interests of Pakistan.”

“Pakistan stands with the Saudi Arabia as per our commitment that Pakistan will always stand by the kingdom,” she said, calling on Muslim states united agains forces that wanted to harm Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PMLN) leader Senator Mushahidullah Khan called for an investigation into the attack.

“Saudi Aramco is investing in Pakistan. Some forces don’t want the region to prosper,” he said, calling it part of a greater game against the development and prosperity of the region.

“These attacks prove again that it is important for us to face terrorist entities, including the Houthi militias in Yemen that are backed by Iran,” Saudi Minister of Energy Khalid A. Al-Falih said in comments to the media.

A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis militia for four years in Yemen to try to restore the internationally recognised government.

Pakistan’s Jamaat-e-Islami party’s secretary foreign affairs, Abdul Ghaffar Aziz, said Houthi rebels in Yemen had already done serious damage to the region and its people by revolting against an elected government.  

“They had attacked oil tankers a few days ago,” Aziz said. “Now this attack is like playing with fire as such attacks can ignite a dangerous war in the region.”

PPP, PML-N to challenge ‘anti-people policies’ of government

Updated 16 June 2019

PPP, PML-N to challenge ‘anti-people policies’ of government

  • Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto hold an important political meeting in Lahore
  • Analysts say their proposed campaign against government can put PTI in difficult situation

LAHORE: Leaders of Pakistan’s two largest opposition parties held a meeting here on Sunday to devise a joint strategy against the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government and run a coordinated campaign against its “anti-people policies.”
The gathering was organized by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President Maryam Sharif who invited Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to jointly review the country’s prevailing political situation.
Together the two young politicians agreed to revive the May 2006 Charter of Democracy, signed by their parents in London, to strengthen parliamentary democracy in Pakistan and challenge the incumbent administration.
“The two parties discussed the current situation of the country and decided to work together to get rid of the anti-people policies [of the PTI government]. In the first phase, a joint strategy will be evolved which will help the two factions work together in parliament. The leaders of the parties will also meet to formulate a strategy to work outside the parliament,” PPP Punjab Secretary General Chaudhry Manzoor Ahmed, who was present at the meeting, told Arab News.
A senior PML-N politician thought the meeting would prove beneficial for Pakistan’s future politics since the two parties were operating under a young leadership.
“The two young leaders have become successful in convincing their parties regarding their approach and style of politics. Their parents may have a history of friendship and enmity, but these two have no bad blood between them. They share the same woes and want to work together to take the country forward,” Senator Pervaiz Rasheed, another participant of the meeting, said.
Maryam Sharif and Bilawal Bhutto also discussed the fresh wave of the arrests of opposition leaders and thought it was to terrify the opponents of the government.
The PPP chairman said in a media talk after the meeting that the opposition would not be deterred by such political pressure. He also pointed out that no single party could take the country out of the present political and economic situation, adding it would require a collaborative effort.
The two leaders decided they would not let the PTI government pass the national budget, saying it was making life difficult for the people of Pakistan. They also agreed to involve other parliamentary forces to achieve that objective.
The PPP chairman and PML-N vice president demanded the administration to withdraw corruption references filed against their family members and insisted the National Assembly speaker issue production orders of all jailed members of parliament.
While some of the government ministers ridiculed the meeting, independent analysts thought it could create problems for the PTI administration.
“The PTI has pushed the main leaders of the PPP and PML-N against the wall. The proposed joint movement of these opposition faction can put the ruling party in hot water,” Arif Nizami, a senior analyst, told Arab News.