ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Sunday strongly condemned the Houthi drone attack targeting civilian population in Saudi Arabia and reiterated its pledge to stand by the Kingdom to fight terror in all its forms.
"Pakistan has noted with serious concern the drone attack by Houthis on the Saudi city of Abha, that took place yesterday," stated a press release issued by the Foreign Office (FO).
Islamabad commended the government of Saudi Arabia, especially the Royal Defence Forces, for "timely intercepting and destroying the drone before it could cause any serious damage."
"Such attacks, targeting the unarmed civilian population, are a clear violation of international law and pose a serious challenge to regional peace and security." read the statement. "We, condemn them in the strongest terms and stand in solidarity with the Saudi government in fighting terrorism in all its forms and manifestations," it added.
On Friday night, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Air Defense Force shot down a Houthi drone that was flying toward Saudi Arabia, the Saudi State TV reported.
The drone was targeting civilians in a residential area in the city of Abha, according to the spokesperson of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki.
The Government of Pakistan reiterated its "full support and solidarity with the leadership, the Government and people of Saudi Arabia against any threats to its territorial integrity and Harmain Shareefaen."
Pakistan also expressed concern over the news of injuries to Saudis and other expatriates, as well as damage to properties, as a result of falling debris of the drone.
All major political parties of the country on Saturday condemned the Houthi drone attack bid in the southwest Saudi city of Abha, a day after the Royal Air Defense Force shot down a Houthi drone 230 km north of the Yemen border.
Omar Sarfraz Cheema, the ruling party’s central information secretary told Arab News, “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf strongly condemns this incident, as it is against international law and the UN charter to target civilians in any conflict.”
He said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had already urged the Houthis to engage in “meaningful dialogue” with Saudi Arabia to resolve the conflict.
“This is a divisive issue for the whole Muslim world and should be resolved through negotiations,” he said.
Since the beginning of the four-year conflict, the Houthis have fired dozens of missiles into Saudi Arabia with most intercepted by the Saudi military. In recent weeks, tensions between warring parties rose after the stalling of a UN-led peace deal.
The attempted attack has been met with unified condemnation across all party lines in Pakistan.
Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq of the PML-N, leader of the opposition in the Senate said that Houthi rebels were trying to undermine the territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia “with the complicity of some other countries.”
“It is part of our faith to protect and fight for the security of Harmain Sharifain,” he told Arab News.
Naveed Chaudhry, a senior leader of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party said Houthi rebels should understand the human cost of the conflict and abide by recent UN agreements.
“It is better if the conflict is resolved at the OIC level to the satisfaction of all relevant stakeholders,” he said. “It is a historic fact that Pakistan has always stood by the Kingdom and will continue to do so to protect the sovereignty of Saudi Arabia.”