Pakistan’s former master Saudi Arabia has given it a swift reality check at the recently concluded 17th extraordinary session of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Council (OIC). The session was called to address the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan and to discuss how to salvage the situation. However, Islamabad unnecessarily barked the pole of legitimizing the Taliban, which irked Saudi Arabia, who later promptly shut the terrorist country down.
Having tasted humiliation time after time, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan incessantly asked the Islamic states to recognize the Taliban, as it aligns with his plans of exporting terrorism in the subcontinent and outside. However, reported by Policy Research Group (PRG) Strategic Insight, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) did not endorse a single sentence of Pakistan’s version.
Widening the rift between the two nations, Saudi Arabia stuck to its version of highlighting the role and responsibility of Taliban 2.0 in restoring peace, stability, and essential supplies in Afghanistan.
Pakistan living in the past and expecting the same from KSA
Pakistan believed that it was Saudi Arabia of the yore who was its ally and supported the Taliban. And thus, it ratcheted up the conversation.
It is pertinent to note that in 1996, the UAE and Saudi Arabia were the only countries (apart from Pakistan) to recognize the Taliban government in Afghanistan, or the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, as legitimate. However, this time around, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have seemingly very different plans.
Saudi Arabia hasn’t reacted to Taliban’s resurgence warmly. The Muslim Kingdom has asked Taliban terrorists who have seized Kabul and other territories in Afghanistan to preserve lives, property, and security, as stipulated by “Islamic principles”.
More importantly, Riyadh is still backing a solution by “Afghan people”. As reported by TFI, the Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia had remarked in the aftermath of events of August 15, “The kingdom stands with the choices that the Afghan people make without interference.”
The ministry added, “Based on the noble principles of Islam…, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia hopes that the Taliban movement and all Afghan parties will work to preserve security, stability, lives and property.”
Not the first time KSA has humiliated Pakistan at OIC
Moreover, the Arab World’s affinity towards New Delhi has rattled Islamabad, which has been receiving constant battering from the Muslim world for its infatuation with Turkey and the radical Muslim nations. And this is not the first time that Saudi Arabia has left Pakistan nursing its wounds at the OIC.
Last year, at an OIC meet, Pakistan’s efforts to internationalise the issue of Kashmir were dealt with a huge blow, when Saudi Arabia, owing to the increasing diplomatic and economic ties with India, decided to sit out the meeting — much to the chagrin of Pakistan.
Forget discussing the Kashmir issue, Saudi Arabia didn’t allow the topic to become part of the OIC discussion draft. The Kingdom constantly maintained that Kashmir was India’s internal matter and therefore remained aloof of it.
Pakistan has caused tremendous harm to itself by throttling the neck of Pak-Saudi relations. The Kingdom is simply toying with Pakistan now, for trying to cross it — the repeated humiliations at the OIC amongst Muslim brethren being a case in point.