Wednesday, January 27, 2021
Home News Reports The relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia deteriorates even more, here are the factors...

The relationship between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia deteriorates even more, here are the factors behind it

The Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship is at a historically low ebb, with the Saudi crown prince MBS giving a cold shoulder to the Pakistani Army General Bajwa by declining to meet with him

Everything is not good between the once long-time allies Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The relationship which had been flourishing not so long ago is currently on the rocks, most notably reflected by the snub to the Pakistani Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa on his visit to Saudi Arabia.

Pakistan General Bajwa is currently on a trip to Saudi Arabia, apparently, in an attempt to iron out the strained relationship between the two countries. However, the Pakistani Army Chief General was rebuffed when his request for a meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was turned down and he was fobbed off with obligatory meetings with the Saudi Vice Minister of Defence Khalid bin Salman and the Saudi Chief of General Staff Maj. Gen. Fayyad bin Hammad Al-Ruwaili.

What led to a strain in a flourishing Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship?

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan had traditionally been strong allies which could largely be attributed to the commonality of the religion shared by the two. Islam has been an underpinning factor in holding the relations between the countries robust. However, until some time ago, Saudi Arabia was also one of the biggest economic benefactors of Pakistan. In 2019, Saudi Arabia had pledged to invest about $20 billion in Pakistan, including $10 billion investment to develop its Gwadar port.

Before that, Saudi had bailed out a plummeting Pakistani economy by granting Islamabad a generous loan package of worth $6 billion in 2018. The loan served as an elixir for the cash-strapped nation which was at that time under severe economic crisis, staring at an imminent financial collapse with shrinking foreign reserves and a swelling trade deficit.

The difference between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan emerged over the latter’s unyielding view on Jammu and Kashmir

The difference between the two long-time allies–Pakistan and Saudi Arabia–emerged when the latter sided with India over the Kashmir issue earlier this year. The dispute between the two countries took root in February 2020 when Saudi Arabia passed up Pakistan’s request to convene a special meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), to get Muslim countries’ to condemn India on the Kashmir issue.

Ever since India hollowed out Article 370, stripping Jammu and Kashmir of its “separate status”, Pakistan has been demanding on a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to internationalise Jammu and Kashmir and get India to reverse the decision.

The recent utterances by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi further dented the already fragile relationship between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. “If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris,” he had said. By this, Pakistan had threatened to split OIC, the international organisation of Islamic nations headed by Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia is also threatened by the emergence of a new Muslim-world order

This is the not the only thorn in the frazzled ties between the two nations. The Kingdom also feel threatened by the emergence of a new bloc of Muslim countries that directly threatens Saudi Arabia’s leadership of the Muslim ummah. Last year, Saudi Arabia had refused to attend a summit organised by Malaysia as it was not organised under the banner of OIC. In fact, Saudi even forced Pakistan to pull out of the international summit of Muslim leaders held in Malaysia.

The Turkey authoritarian ruler Erdogan had then revealed that Pakistan PM Imran Khan—who had passionately supported the summit—had to withdraw from the meeting after Saudi Arabia put pressure on Islamabad and issued economic threats to Pakistan. He claimed that the Kingdom had threatened Islamabad of repatriating 4 million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia and also to withdraw $3 billion from Pakistan’s central bank even as Pakistan is teetering on the edge of a financial crisis.

According to the reports, Saudi had demanded Pakistan early repayment of a $3 billion loan. Earlier in August, Pakistan borrowed $1 billion from its all-weather ally–China to pay off Saudi Arabia.

The realignment of Saudi Arabia’s geopolitical interests with India

While Saudi Arabia had been resolutely standing besides Pakistan for decades on its concerns vis-a-vis Kashmir and providing monetary and military assistance to Islamabad, the recent shift in its stance can be partly attributed to the geopolitical reality and the benefits derived from having a mercantilist relationship with India. India is the fourth largest trading partner of the Middle-east Kingdom and the value of the bilateral trade between the two countries is close to $28 billion, an overwhelming of which had been due to the crude exports to India.

Besides, the trade ties between India and Saudi Arabia have deepened, with Saudi Aramco reportedly investing in Indian behemoth Reliance Industries. It is also being reported that Saudi Arabia’s public investment fund (PIF) has initiated discussions with Reliance Industries on investing about $1 billion in Jio’s fiber assets.

With the world focusing its attention on the renewable sources of energy and the slackening demand for the crude oil, the notion of fostering profitable trading relations with an emerging regional power such as India and investing in futuristic technologies build by Indian companies is more lucrative for the Gulf countries, including Saudi Arabia, than continuing to align with the cash-strapped Pakistan, which is on the brink of an unsalvageable financial crisis and risk disrupting its favourable trade ties with India.

With the coronavirus pandemic wrecking serious economic damage, and with little respite expected in the foreseeable future, countries have discerned that the glue of shared economic interests has a greater likelihood of weathering them through this economic turmoil than the fixation with the commonality of the religion. It is, perhaps, this sobering realisation that has caused Saudi Arabia to tacitly ask its former ally Pakistan to get over its obsession with Jammu and Kashmir, the territory which Pakistan characterises as its “jugular vein”, and reconcile to its changed identity. 

  Support Us  

Whether NDTV or 'The Wire', they never have to worry about funds. In name of saving democracy, they get money from various sources. We need your support to fight them. Please contribute whatever you can afford

OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

 

Related Articles

Trending now

Post-mortem of protestor killed during tractor rally confirms he died of antemortem injuries, busts left-liberal propaganda of being shot

Left-liberals had tried to blame Delhi Police for the death, spreading the fake news that the protestor was shot dead by Police.

‘Tiranga ka apman, nehi sahega Hindustan’: Angry villages in Rewari issue ultimatum to ‘farmer’ protestors to vacate Highway blockade in 24 hours

The villagers said that due to blockade on the highway, the region remains jammed with vehicles, which have created difficulties for them

Farmer bodies withdraw their support from ‘farmer’ protest, blame Rakesh Tikait for violence on Republic Day

AIKSCC's VM Singh said he does not want to be part of protests led by Rakesh Tikait.

Red Fort attack: Dear ‘liberals’, here is how a little understanding of physics can help you

The underlying message of holding a parallel parade on Republic Day was always clear. They wanted to showcase a parallel power center on the streets, a republic of mob rule.

The mayhem on Republic Day was planned by these ‘farmer leaders’. Here is how they are lying

From Yogendra Yadav to Rakesh Tikait to Darshan Pal: How the 'farmer leaders' egged the 'farmers' to run a riot on Republic Day

Red Fort Insurrection: Deep Sidhu, his Khalistani links, role in violence and how ‘liberals’, who made him a hero, are now using him to...

Opposition leaders who had supported Deep Sidhu saying it is a farmer are now alleging he is linked to BJP

Recently Popular

Protesting mob enters Red Fort, unfurl the Sikh flag, Terrorist outfit SFJ had demanded Khalistani flag to be hoisted: Details

The protestors have hoisted the flag on Red Fort that appears to be the Sikh Flag. Some believe it is the Khalistan Flag.

‘Flag of Khalistan is waving on Red Fort,’ ‘Historic Moment’: All Pakistan Muslim League celebrates “Black Day” for India

The All Pakistan Muslim League (APML) is celebrating the hoisting of the 'Khalistan Flag' at Red Fort on Republic Day.

Here is how Congress and trolls tried to paint a Khalistani accused of spearheading the Red Fort siege as a ‘sanghi’

Deep Sidhu is accused of being responsible for the hoisting of the Sikh flag at Red Fort on Republic Day.

Rajdeep Sardesai lies twice, says ‘farmer’ was killed because the police shot him in the head: Here is the truth

In this way, those who had shared the fake news once would live under the false impression that it was indeed a case of police firing.

Tractor rally: Rioting mob vandalised Ram Mandir and Kedarnath tableaux from Republic Day parade

Rioting mob on Tuesday not only desecrated the Red Fort and tried to kill the Delhi Police personnel but also vandalised the tableau from the Republic Day parade.

Protesting ‘farmer’ spends Rs 35 lakh to modify his tractor for Republic Day rally

The modified tractor is fitted with huge wheels. It is said to withstand heavy rain and water cannon charge.
- Advertisement -

 

US-based ‘Human Rights Lawyer’ Arjun Sethi gives a call to oust the Modi government, spreads falsehoods on farmer protests

A chronic PM Modi hater, Arjun Sethi has ceaselessly whined over the Citizenship Amendment Act since its passage in December 2019

‘Not taking the vaccine is a bigger laughing matter’, doctor responds after video of him scolded by wife during live broadcast goes viral

A video of Dr KK Agarwal getting berated by his wife for getting vaccinated alone is doing the rounds on the internet

Watch: Elderly man tries to cross protest site to see doctor, protesting ‘farmers’ issue him life threat

The elderly man said that he was trying to cross the protest site as he had an appointment with a doctor at Panth Hospital

Reflections on Republic Day insurrection: The government’s dilemma, a blast from the past and ghost of Operation Blue Star

Tractor Rally Protesters stormed the national capital and eventually managed to breach the premises of the Red Fort on Republic Day.

Robert Vadra posts distorted map of India on social media, shows PoK and Aksai Chin not part of India

Robert Vadra used a distorted map of India on Twitter and Instagram while demanding probe for Republic Day violence in Delhi

Post-mortem of protestor killed during tractor rally confirms he died of antemortem injuries, busts left-liberal propaganda of being shot

Left-liberals had tried to blame Delhi Police for the death, spreading the fake news that the protestor was shot dead by Police.

Farmer protests: Twitter suspends 550 accounts for inciting violence, abuse, and threats

Delhi Police had claimed that hundreds of Twitter accounts were created to sow confusion about the tractor rally proposed by the 'farmers'.

Congress leader Digvijaya Singh blames Delhi Police for Republic Day violence by ‘farmer’ protestors

While it was already known that barricades will be removed after Republic Day parade is over, Digvijay Singh blamed police barricades for riots

‘You cannot hurt religious sentiments’: SC rejects anticipatory bail pleas of ‘Tandav’ makers

"Freedom of speech was not absolute. You cannot hurt anyone's religious sentiments", Supreme Court of India said to makers of 'Tandav'.

Banned Khalistani outfit SFJ confesses to their hand in Red Fort attack, announces reward for laying siege on Indian Parliament on February 1

Khalistani terror organisation SFJ has announced a reward of $350,000 for those who wave Khalistani flags at the Parliament

Connect with us

245,563FansLike
496,912FollowersFollow
23,000SubscribersSubscribe