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Saudi Arabia & Pakistan grows closer: India left out?

33 4 0
30.12.2019

The one-day visit to Islamabad on December 26 by Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan bin Abdullah aimed at a reset of the Saudi-Pakistani relationship. What emerges is that Saudis are going the extra league to placate Pakistan. The Modi government must take note.

To recap, things came to a pass in September when, following the Modi government’s historic move to ‘integrate’ J&K, Pakistan mooted the idea of an Islamic conference with Turkey and Malaysia to highlight the Kashmir issue in the face of Saudi Arabia’s lukewarm attitude.

That initiative by Prime Minister Imran Khan eventually took the form of the KL Summit 2020 in the Malaysian capital on December 19-21 with a broader agenda to choreograph a new pathway for the Muslim world in the contemporary world situation.

A question mark must be put now on the expected investment plans by Saudi Aramco in the $70 billion mega petrochemical plant (originally planned to be set up in Ratnagiri)

A question mark must be put now on the expected investment plans by Saudi Aramco in the $70 billion mega petrochemical plant (originally planned to be set up in Ratnagiri)

Unsurprisingly, Saudi Arabia assessed that the Malaysian initiative would pose a challenge to its leadership of the ‘ummah’. King Salman took exception in a phone call to the Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohammed on the eve of the KL summit to complain that the OIC ought to have been the right forum to deal with Islamic issues.

Furthermore, Saudis prevailed upon Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to stand down from the KL summit. (See my blog Saudi Arabia reads the riot act to Imran Khan,) This was how Turkish President Recep Erdoğan later recapitulated the high drama:

“Unfortunately, we see that Saudi Arabia pressures Pakistan. Now, there are promises that the country has given to Pakistan regarding the........

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