S:     Great news! It looks like we are a gearing up to jump into the sectarian cesspool of Yemen on the behest of our Gulf brethren, particularly brother Saudi Arabia. Can you believe this? Here we are unable to secure our markets and buildings and just about everything that exists in this country, but we’re itching to join someone else’s fight on another continent.

A:     You may be jumping the gun here. Nothing has been confirmed yet. But even if we do join the coalition, I’m sure we’re going to get something in return and it may just be worth it. And I don’t think that this move would isolate us at the international level. Gulf countries are on board and so is the US. Who else matters?

S:     You’re forgetting that we have a neighbour popularly known as Iran, which is party to the conflict in Yemen. Why would you antagonise it over nothing? I don’t think that participating in a dirty sectarian war that doesn’t directly concern us for some immediate reward is a wise move. It is extremely shortsighted and dangerous. To think that it would not carry any implications is just being in denial. Have we learnt nothing from Afghanistan?

A:     This is different. In Yemen, you have Iran-backed Houthi rebels, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and those loyal to KSA and US-backed President Hadi fighting it out for control in an impoverished country. Our country is being asked to pick a side, and I’m fine with it choosing one that suits our interests. Isn’t that what the leadership is required to do?

S:     But Ameen, we do not have to pick any side at all. We really don’t. For a change, I agree with Imran Khan. Why can’t we play a positive role as mediators? So many other countries in the world, and I don’t see them jumping in. Look at our poor condition. Our focus ought to be at home. We can be more than mercenaries hired for a dirty job.