The Foreign Office on Sunday rubbished foreign media reports that Pakistan plans to send 20,000 troops to Qatar in the wake of a deepening diplomatic rift in the Middle East. TRT Urdu, a part of the state-owned Turkish Radio and Television Corporation, earlier reported that a bill seeking the deployment of 20,000 troops to Qatar had been presented before the National Assembly and was later approved by house. The TRT Urdu report added that, upon adopting the bill, lawmakers in the National Assembly urged Qatar and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to resolve their differences through dialogue. FO Spokesperson Nafees Zakaria said that the foreign media reports were “fabricated and baseless”, adding that they were part of a “malicious campaign” seeking to drive a wedge between Pakistan and its Gulf allies. Last week, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Yemen and the Maldives severed their ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting terrorism in an unprecedented rift between the most powerful members of the GCC. Qatar denied these allegations, terming them as ‘false and baseless’.
The crisis is being touted as the biggest in the Middle East and has left Pakistan, along with countries around the world, picking sides and scrambling for solutions.