The year 2020 has seen the relations between the Arab World and Pakistan going down the hill. After constantly jeering the Arab world and trying to sit in the lap of Turkish masters, Islamabad finally has had an epiphany and it is now looking to woo back Saudi Arabia. According to news reports, the Pakistani riot police on Sunday, at around 2:30 AM raided the six garages of Turkish firms, Albayrak and Ozpak Group in Lahore. The move has sent shockwaves to Ankara where the state media has been demanding the Pakistani officials to apologize to the Turkish firms.
Both firms used to provide cleaning services that had a fleet of over 750 vehicles, including garbage removal trucks, lorries and various vehicles. The company officials stated that they were asked to deliver their cleaning tools to the Lahore administration through pressure and threat before their contracts expire. A joint press release of the two companies described the incident as “an attempt to sabotage the decision of the leaders of the two countries to increase the trade volume” and “bullying”.
“The Lahore Waste Management Company (LWMC) said in a statement that they took over the vehicles according to the contract. However, under the contract, Turkish companies have no transfer obligation. Although there is a court order stating that our vehicles, equipment, and garages belong to us, this was ignored,” said Albayrak’s Project Coordinator CagriOzel to the reporters.
On the contrary, LWMC CEO Imran Ali Sultan asserted that the action was legal and the vehicle fleet must be handed over to them according to the bid, otherwise they would apply for the support of civil administration.
The pressure from the Arab world
The Pakistan high command which has adored the Turkish regime so far would not have bothered to conduct the raids on Turkish companies if it was not for the constant pressure from the Arab world.
Pakistan’s efforts to internationalize the issue of Kashmir were dealt a huge blow when Saudi Arabia, owing to the increasing diplomatic and economic ties with India decided to sit this discussion out, much to the chagrin of Pakistan. Forget discussing the Kashmir issue, Saudi Arabia didn’t even allow the topic to become part of the OIC meet for a heartbeat. The Kingdom constantly maintained that Kashmir was India’s internal matter and therefore remained aloof of it.
The matters became much worse when Pakistan tried to undermine the Arab World in the International forums by siding with radical countries like Turkey, Iran, and Malaysia. Turkey under Erdogan has been after KSA’s position in the Arab world. Erdogan wants to recreate the lost glory of the Ottoman empire and the Royal family of Saudi Arabia is staunchly against the rise of Anakara and Erdogan.
Therefore, Pakistan which was supporting Turkey through thick and thin became collateral damage in the scenario as Saudi Arabia pressurized the terrorist state to return the $3 billion loan taken in 2018 ahead of its repayment date.
As a result, the Imran Khan government was forced to turn to China to ask for loans to pay back the loan to KSA. It was earlier this month that Pakistan, in a rather bizarre manner took the second installment of the loan.
Reported by TFI, the Saudi Ministry of Islamic Affairs, Call and Guidance, and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs are already working on an elaborate plan to weed out the Pakistani imams from the place of worship by ‘Saudizing’ the jobs – meaning, only the Arab nationals would be eligible to take up the jobs of imam and muezzin (caller to prayer) at prayer halls of major commercial complexes.
Saudi Arabia by giving a subtle side-eye and a rap on the knuckle to Pakistan has forced it to chart a course correction route. The message is clear from the Arab world that Pakistan must mend its ways, otherwise, the consequences could be extremely rough.