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.