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Pakistan is ready to defend Saudi Arabia's "territorial integrity" but has not yet decided to join Riyadh's coalition fighting Yemen rebels, Islamabad's defence minister said Friday.

Yemen's Houthi rebels made broad gains in the country's south and east on Friday despite a second day of Saudi-led air strikes meant to check the Iranian-backed militia's efforts to overthrow President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Shia Houthi fighters and allied army units gained their first foothold on Yemen's Arabian Sea coast by seizing the port of Shaqra 100km (60 miles) east of Aden, residents told Reuters.
Minister for Defence Khawaja Asif categorically said that Pakistan is not going to take part in the Middle East war, but Pakistan will defend territorial integrity of "brotherly country" Saudi Arabia at any cost.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan yesterday expressed grave concern over what it said Pakistan being pushed into a war being spearheaded by a US-Saudi military alliance in Yemen against the Houthi rebels. "Pakistan should stay neutral in any sectarian conflict in the Gulf and the Middle East, as there will be a severe backlash in our region, especially in Pakistan. We are already confronting a huge sectarian problem in Pakistan," he said.
The scheduled visit of a high-level delegation comprising Defence Minister Khawaja Asif, Prime Minister's Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and representatives of the armed forces to Saudi Arabia has been postponed. Foreign Office spokesperson Tasnim Aslam told Business Recorder that the visit was postponed due to an Arab League summit being held at Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
A Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) delegation on Friday met Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and conveyed to him party's concerns about the on-going operation in Karachi, as well as the release of death row convict Saulat Mirza's video.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif advised the President on Friday to extend the death sentence of Saulat Mirza for a period of 30 days starting from April 1st.
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ICT 2014

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
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WeeklyMarch 13, 2015
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