Pakistan is fast losing the handful of friends it had managed to retain over the past few years. The Arab world let by Saudi Arabia and UAE have dumped the nation for good and are fast turning into arch enemies as from asking for early repayment of their loans to not allowing Pakistan to whine about Kashmir at the Organisation of Islamic countries, the Arab countries have done it all.
What was supposed to be an impregnable trio of Pakistan-Malaysia-Turkey and pose a challenge to the Muslim world order, is now in doldrums as with the fall of Mahathir Mohamad, sanity has returned in Malaysia with the nation now in a course correction mode after Mahathir’s numerous follies. This left Pakistan only with Turkey as its true friend who would help further its agenda on Kashmir, however, with the Abraham Accords even Turkey rejected Pakistan and it will not be far-fetched to say that Turkey will be forced to drop the issue of Kashmir, thereby completely isolating Pakistan.
Thanks to Erdogan, Turkey finds itself in a plethora of trouble on both the global and economic front. The nation’s economy is in complete doldrums with many Turks even struggling to buy food. According to a recent poll by MetroPoll Research, it was revealed that 25 per cent of respondents could not meet their basic needs. Its currency – Lira is down a record low by more than 30 per cent against the dollar this year.
Such is the country’s battered economy that it comes as no surprise that various opinion polls show that Erdogan’s party has fallen to its lowest point in the 19 years and it is predicted that at present, the ruling coalition would fail to secure 50 per cent of the vote that would be required for Erdogan to retain the Presidency and thereby his iron grip on the nation.
Unless Erdogan takes up far-reaching economic reforms, his days at the Presidential Palace would be numbered. Much has been written about Turkey’s spiralling relations with the European Union which is of entirely Erdogan’s making as his zeal to show strength has rubbed the EU leaders the wrong way. Under pressure, Erdogan is considering to release political prisoners to achieve a thaw in relations with the EU.
As if his all-weather ally Donald Trump, leaving the White House, wasn’t enough, Trump finally relented and slapped sanctions on Turkey for its decision to purchase the S-400 air defence missile system from Russia.
The Abraham accord, orchestrated by the Trump administration has brought overall peace to the region. The normalisation between Israel and several other Islamic nations became a milestone event in the history of the region if not the whole world. The emergence of new security threats in the region in the form of Turkey’s lean towards Islamic radicalism was the final encouragement towards the rapprochement between the Jewish nation and the Islamic world. The mutually shared concern of Iran’s nuclear program was also another reason for the rise of solidarity between countries representing Abrahamic religions.
While Pakistan continues to raise the issue of Palestine, Turkey has indicated that it is willing to mend the ties with Israel despite the issue of Palestine remaining a sour point between the two countries. But the point to be noted is that Ankara’s relations with Israel offer it much more than the Palestinian solidarity. Turkey had severed its relations with Israel in 2018 after the Trump administration had decided to shift its Embassy to Jerusalem, which meant recognising the holiest site of the Jews as the de facto Israeli capital.
With the Abraham Accord, Turkey has played a pragmatic and opportunistic game, making Pakistan realise that there are no permanent friends or enemies in geopolitics. What remains permanent is of national interests. Under intense pressure, Turkey will be forced to drop the issue of Kashmir even if unwillingly, to reduce the heat on Erdogan and Turkey.