The rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Turkey to become the leader of the Islamic world is now turning into hostility. Pakistan is suffering its biggest brunt. Pakistan has deepened its relationship with Turkey in recent times. This has led to bitterness in his relationships with countries such as Saudi Arabia and its supporting UAE. Due to this Pakistan is suffering economic and diplomatic losses.
In Saudi Arabia, the drive to buy Turkish made products in Turkey has intensified in the last few days. The confrontation between the two countries began in 2013 after a failed military coup in Turkey. In 2017, the issue of siege of Qatar accelerated further. The subsequent death of journalist Jamal Khashogi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul further aggravated it. Meanwhile, these two countries have often taken different stances in issues and controversies related to the Muslim world.
The confrontation took a new turn in the last month, when the head of the Council of Saudi Chambers, Azlan bin Abdul Aziz al-Azlan, appealed for a buy-in of bicots from Turkey. On October 4, the national day of boycott of Turkish things was celebrated in Saudi Arabia. A major fast food chain in Saudi Arabia then removed the Turkish beef patty from its menu. He announced to sell Greek burgers instead. It also has a symbolic significance.
Significantly, there is a dispute with Greece over the jurisdiction of Turkey in the eastern geo-central sea. That is, Turkey’s enemy country is being given importance in Saudi Arabia. It is now difficult for Turkish companies to get contracts in Saudi Arabia’s construction projects. This has had a very bad effect on Turkish companies.
Saudi Arabia has a large influence in the Islamic countries of North America and West Asia. For this reason, Turkish companies are facing problems in this whole region, especially in the Gulf region. In Algeria and the UAE, the reports of difficulties to these companies are given prominently in the Saudi Arabian media. According to a report by the Saudi magazine Olusal, Saudi exports to Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia are taking four times longer to get clearance. Morocco broke the free trade agreement with Turkey and imposed 90 per cent duty on industrial products originating from it.
This development has a profound impact on Pakistan. Tensions between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have increased recently. Pakistan’s relations have in the past deepened with Turkey and Malaysia. One reason for this is that these countries have raised the issue of Kashmir in international forums. But it has suffered because of deteriorating relations with Saudi Arabia, the most influential country in the Muslim world.
Saudi Arabia refused to extend the deadline for repaying the debt owed to Pakistan despite the recent Corona epidemic. Pakistan’s relations with UEA have also deteriorated rapidly. A few days ago, the UAE included Pakistan among 12 countries whose citizens imposed temporary restrictions on their arrival.
Saudi Arabia, UAE and North African countries are very important for Pakistan’s economy. A large number of Pakistanis work in these countries, whose earning from there is a big support for the Pakistani economy. Saudi Arabia has been a great help to him. In addition, Pakistan has a billion dollar business with those countries. Analysts say that if Pakistan continues to strengthen its axis with Turkey, it could have a worse effect on this business and income.