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Is Pakistan pivoting away from Saudi Arabia?

Pakistan is facing strong domestic opposition against providing support to the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen, and its parliament came to a unanimous decision to stay neutral in the conflict, to the chagrin of Saudi Arabia.
A Houthi militant reacts at the yard of the residence of the military commander of the Houthi militant group, Abdullah Yahya al Hakim, after an air strike destroyed it, in Sanaa April 28, 2015. Saudi-led aircraft pounded Iran-allied Houthi militiamen and rebel army units on Monday, dashing hopes for a pause in fighting to let aid in as relief officials warned of a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah - RTX1AM8S

Saudi Arabia continues to press Pakistan to provide tangible support for its war in Yemen. Most Pakistanis are pushing back and criticizing the kingdom and its gulf allies in unprecedented candor.

Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his senior army leadership traveled to Saudi Arabia last week for another consultation on Riyadh's request for military support for the campaign against the Houthis. Sharif said after the visit that he was not confronted with a "wish list" and he reiterated Pakistan's commitment to defend the kingdom if it is attacked. But the Pakistani leadership offered no tangible military aid. The prime minister's brother, Shabaz Sharif, has also visited Saudi Arabia separately to try to reassure Gulf leaders, but he could not calm the tensions either. The Sharif government is clearly uncomfortable with saying no to its Gulf benefactors but it faces strong domestic opposition to the war.

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