India has a hostile neighbourhood and faces threats on multiple fronts at any time of the year. Though the Indian armed forces are capable of giving back to the enemy for their misadventure, but it is the leaders’ moral responsibility to not push the soldiers of the nation into the death valley. And this feat can only be achieved through strengthened international relations, and PM Modi is very well aware of this. This is the reason why his government since its inception has focused on good strategic partnerships around the globe, be it exporting BrahMos to the Philippines or strengthening ties with the Arab world through its alliance with UAE and other countries.
PM Modi in UAE
PM Modi on his way back from the G7 summit which was organised in Germany landed in UAE. PM Modi was in Abu Dhabi for a very short duration, approximately a very brief period that is for 2-2.5 hours. But this brief visit will go down in history as PM Modi was personally received by UAE President and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, popularly known as MBZ at the Abu Dhabi airport. PM Modi thanked the Abu Dhabi ruler referring to him as a “brother”.
PM Modi conveyed condolences on the death of the Former President of the Gulf Nation, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan. The two leaders also reviewed bilateral relations. PM Modi also congratulated MBZ on his election as the third President.
PM Modi even thanked MBZ for “Taking care of the 3.5 million Indian community in UAE, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.” The leaders of the two nations reviewed various aspects of India-UAE Comprehensive Strategic Partnership, signed in February this year. CEPA is expected to further boost trade and investment between both the countries. UAE is India’s third largest trade partner and second largest export destination, and this has not been the case always.
UAE: India’s friend in the Gulf
None of the Indian heads ever visited the UAE in the last 34 years, until PM Modi took it on himself to revive the relationship with UAE. The last visit to UAE was paid by former PM Indira Gandhi in 1981. This visit of PM Modi on 28 June was PM Modi’s fourth tour to UAE in his 8 year tenure, having visited in the tenure earlier in August 2015, February 2018, and August 2019.
UAE is a crucial partner for India as it is India’s most trustable ally in the Gulf. India and UAE enjoy a strong bond based on age-old cultural, religious and economic ties between the two nations. UAE finds a key place in India’s West Asia policy. UAE has also been one of the major source of FDI in India.
India is crucial for UAE too, as UAE looks east to find a partner for its economic growth and with security concerns emanating from turmoil in West Asia, UAE finds a natural partner in India. India and UAE thus having in the direction of defence and security partnership as well. However, this increases the threat perception for Pakistan.
India and UAE’s increasing partnership is problematic for Pakistan
Pakistan’s existence is based on just one thing, hatred for India, and Pakistan often finds an ally in the Muslim world. However, India’s increasing partnership with the Arab world has rattled the ‘bankrupt’ Pakistan.
MBZ welcoming PM Modi sidelining the protocols have once again irked the Pakistan who was seeking the support of the Arab countries in the name of “Muslim brotherhood”. Earlier, when Pak PM Shahbaz Sharif was on a visit to UAE, he did not receive a very grand welcome, as he was received by the law minister.
Even the insiders have started questioning Pakistan’s foreign policy and have blamed the same for decline of Pakistan’s stature on the global stage. However, Pakistan needs to understand, that it cannot expect input of FDIs by exporting terrorism to the world.
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