A wise man had once said, ‘Weigh your words before you speak’. Recently, Saudi Arabia made a decision that has once again made Pakistan regret the day when Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke way more than what was necessary. In a crucial decision, Saudi Arabia has withheld their decision to invest 10 billion dollars in an oil refinery at Gwadar, situated in the disputed province of Balochistan.
But why has Saudi Arabia refused to assist Pakistan in building the refinery? What did Shah Mahmood Qureshi speak for which Pakistan is paying the price even today? The previous year, during the beginning of August, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s Foreign Affairs Minister, launched a tirade against Saudi Arabia and their Organization of Islamic Cooperation for not extending support to their cause of ‘liberating Kashmir’.
To make matters worse, Shah Mahmood Qureshi even threatened Saudi Arabia that Pakistan is very capable of creating an alternative leadership within the Islamic countries. This was enough for Saudi Arabia to launch punitive measures against the rogue nation for daring to challenge their supremacy in the Islamic world and threaten Saudi Arabia, the undisputed leader of the Islamic world, with consequences.
As of now, Saudi Arabia has decided that it would not invest in the oil refinery situated at Gwadar. While conversing with News International, Imran Khan’s adviser on Electricity and Petroleum, Tabish Gauhar reported that Saudi Arabia has refused to invest in the Gwadar refinery. The investment would have been nothing less than a soothing relief to Pakistan, which is ailing with an economic crisis. Pakistan wanted Gwadar to be converted into an economic hub, for which it has attracted various CPEC projects to the same.
In order to ensure the same, Pakistani PM Imran Khan had also visited Saudi Arabia in order to thaw the frosty relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. However, it looks like Shah Mahmood Qureshi’s arrogance is now going to cost Pakistan dear.
To quote Shah Mahmood Qureshi, “Pakistan will have to look for other options if the OIC doesn’t come forward in support of its stance on Kashmir. Inadvertently threatening Saudi Arabia who leads the chair in OIC, a 57-member organization could have serious repercussions for Pakistan. I am once again respectfully telling OIC that a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers is our expectation. If you cannot convene it, then I’ll be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris”.
It seems that Pakistan’s newfound love for hardline Islamism has not gone down well with Saudi as the latter is now seeking to punish Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has now stopped the supply of oil to the country since May after the expiration of the deferred payment deal. To quote an excerpt from a previous report by TFI Post itself, “The Express Tribune reported that the $3.2 billion Saudi oil facility was a part of the USD 6.2-billion Saudi Arabian package announced in November 2018 to ease Pakistan’s external sector woes. Pakistan is trying to renew the facility but the Saudis are yet to respond to Pakistan’s request. In a desperate bid to placate Saudi Arabia, Pakistan returned a $1 billion Saudi loan — four months ahead of its repayment period. Now, it’s a separate thing that Pakistan returned this loan by taking an additional loan of $1 billion from China.
The message is clear – Saudi Arabia has still not forgotten the audacity of the Imran Khan administration in challenging their might in the Islamic world and is making them pay for their impudence.