The relations between the two countries are being renewed with speculation after Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Islamabad Navaf bin Saeed al-Maliki met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan here. For some time, the relationship between these two countries was continuously increasing in tension. Recently, when Saudi Arabia forced Pakistan to repay its debt installment amid the Corona epidemic, it was seen as a sign of a widening rift in the traditional relations between the two countries.
However, Pakistan paid this installment with help from China. Pakistan has taken a loan of three billion dollars from Saudi Arabia. In it, he paid a billion dollars last week by taking a loan from China. But after the meeting this week, it is being speculated that both sides are now trying to reconcile.
After meeting with Al-Maliki, the Prime Minister’s Office of Pakistan said that bilateral relations and the status of Covid-19 were discussed during this time. The office said that the two sides resolved to further strengthen Pakistan-Saudi Arabia’s long-term friendly relations.
Significantly, both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are big countries of the Islamic world. The holiest sites of Islam are in Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia is considered their patron. Therefore it has a special importance in the Islamic world. On the other hand, Pakistan is the only Islamic country with nuclear weapons. Relations between the two countries have traditionally been strong. But amidst the changing situation at the international level recently, this relationship has become bitter.
Saudi Arabia’s resentment over its debt repayment deadline caused widespread outrage in Pakistan. Pakistan newspaper The Dawn wrote in an editorial that Saudi Arabia would do it, it was difficult to even think in the past. Dawn wrote that both countries were instrumental in taking out the then Soviet Union from Afghanistan under the leadership of the US. They were the golden days of the relationship between the two countries, when they were in the same court in the balance of international power. But today things have changed.
Analysts say that Saudi Arabia is still firmly present in the US camp, while Pakistan is almost out of this camp. He is closer to China today. At the same time, he has a new closeness with Russia. China and Russia are rival countries of America today. The migration of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to different camps is the main reason for their ties.
According to Pakistani experts, tensions between the two countries began in 2015, when Saudi Arabia asked Pakistan to send troops to the ongoing civil war in Yemen. Pakistan’s parliament turned down the request. Pakistan still believes that its decision was correct. He indirectly blames Saudi Arabia for the humanitarian tragedy that followed in Yemen.
Meanwhile, new equations have been created in the Islamic world. Turkey and Malaysia are trying to create a new axis. Pakistan’s stance has been soft on this new equation. However, last year, under pressure from Saudi Arabia, at the last moment Pakistan decided not to attend the Islamic summit in Malaysia. Pakistan’s dilemma is that Turkey and Malaysia have been leading the issue of Kashmir, while Saudi Arabia has often remained silent on this matter due to its strong ties with India.
But Pakistan cannot resent Saudi Arabia much because Pakistan’s economic dependence on it. One million people of Pakistan work in Saudi Arabia, whose earning from there is a special contribution to the economy of Pakistan. That is why Pakistan was upset with Saudi Arabia’s displeasure. That is why diplomats kept a close watch on Saudi Ambassador’s meeting with Imran Khan and are now monitoring its possible consequences.