The known terror-state whose only expertise is getting terrorists trained and shipped around the world to kill innocent citizens has been at the receiving end of endless royal snubs from Arab countries, which until recently were seen as Pakistan’s godfathers. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others from the Gulf have had just about enough of Pakistan and its desperation with Indian Kashmir, which is why the Islamic Republic has been magnificently dumped by the Arab powers. Now, the Indian Army Chief, General M.M Naravane was on a four-day tour of Saudi Arabia and UAE, which culminated on Monday. Expectedly, Pakistan suffered a series of panic attacks.
Eminent personalities within Pakistan underlined the importance of General Naravane’s visit to the Saudi powers which were previously seen as Islamabad’s patriarchs. While some called it a colossal defeat of the Imran Khan-led PTI government of Pakistan, others attributed the strengthening of Indo-Arab ties to the Modi government’s aggressive Middle East policy.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former Prime Minister of Pakistan modestly tried to hide his displeasure, saying that what India does viz, its foreign policy is none of Pakistan’s concern. However, Pakistan should strive to have good relations with the Arab world, which, according to him, was not the case any longer.
Former High Commissioner of Pakistan to India Abdul Basit reminded Pakistanis that only recently India’s Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar was on a tour to Bahrain and UAE, while also reminding Islamabad of the future schedule of India’s Foreign Minister, saying that he is all set to visit Qatar and Kuwait soon. Abdul Basit also cautioned Pakistanis that it would not be a surprise to see India, Saudi Arabia and the UAE announcing military exercises soon.
Basit also warned that while India was aggressively strategizing and following its Arab foreign policy, Pakistan was on the verge of getting kicked out of the Gulf. Basit further demanded a foreign ministry reshuffle within Pakistan.
Journalist Najam Sethi recalled how merely two years ago the Saudi crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman had visited Pakistan and was chauffeured around by Prime Minister Imran Khan. Since then, Sethi opined, all of Pakistan’s efforts were reduced to dirt. The journalist caught the jugular when he stated that it was Pakistan’s misadventure against the OIC which cost it its relations with the Arab and Gulf world. Islamabad’s efforts to forge an OIC-parallel Islamic organisation with countries like Turkey, Malaysia and Iran are what obliterated its ties with the Arab world according to Sethi.
Former Pakistani Defense Minister Naeem Khalid Lodhi said that it was a major setback for Pakistan that the Arab world was rolling out the red carpet for the Indian Army Chief. Lodhi further indicated that with the strengthening of ties between the Arab world and India, the Gulf was paving the way of joining a club of pro-Israel countries. Lodhi pointed out how Saudi Arabia recently opened its airspace for Israel and highlighted that this was bound to happen.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is said to have once again begged China for a $1 billion credit line which Beijing readily agreed to, because it would further pave the way for the middle kingdom colonizing Pakistan in its entirety. Notably, the loan has been taken by Pakistan to repay Saudi Arabia the $2 billion debt owed by Islamabad. Out of $2 billion, Pakistan will reportedly return the $1 billion on Monday and the remaining $1 billion in January.
Within Pakistan, the fact that Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa was snubbed by Saudi Arabia and denied an audience with Mohammad Bin Salman has not been given a miss by anyone. Bajwa visited Saudi, expecting to convince them to take a firmer line against India’s policies in Kashmir. The Saudi crown prince was expected to give the Pak Army Chief an audience, a loan concession and a medal. However, what General Bajwa received was sheer humiliation at the hands of the Saudis.
In contrast, Gen. M M Naravane was treated as a royal guest to the kingdom, and red carpets were rolled out for the Indian Army Chief. Naturally, this got Pakistanis worked up, as they watch helplessly the spectacularly growing bonhomie between India and the Arab World.