Shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

However, if the Pakistani government gives more importance to Saudi Arabia in the Yemen conflict, the relations will likely get acrimonious,". The bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are historically close and extremely friendly, frequently. “Saudi Arabia has always stood with Pakistan in difficult times and the Pakistani government and its people highly acknowledge it,” Pakistani.

Pakistan must not allow extremists to act as a 'Sunni Wall' against Iran Suffering setbacks in Yemen, Saudi Arabia seeks closer ties and increased military cooperation with East and South Asian countries.

Are Pakistan and Saudi Arabia now friends in name only?

Analysts say Pakistan provides a stepping stone for Riyadh's "look east" policy. For the past 18 months, Saudi Arabia has been locked in a bitter conflict in Yemen and still hasn't been able to defeat Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels in the Middle Eastern country. In the past few weeks, Riyadh has suffered heavy blows in Yemen, which has promoted the Saudi monarchs to once again reach out to its allies in Asia.

During his stay in Islamabad, bin Salman met with the Pakistani civilian and military leadership to "discuss issues of common interest," according to the local media.

Pakistan’s Imran Khan: Saudi Arabia has helped Pakistan when it needed it

Bin Salman's visit comes at a time when Riyadh is wary of the prospects of US military cooperation with Russia and Washington's warming ties with Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch rival. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper cited a source saying that the Saudi defense minister sought reassurance from Islamabad in view of the changing geo-political situation in the region.

Pakistan's Sunni religious parties strongly support Saudi Arabia's Yemen campaign It is unclear what kind of assurances Pakistani officials made to bin Salman.

Examining Saudi-Pakistani ties in changing geopolitics

Saudi Arabia, which is one of Pakistan's biggest financers, has been unhappy with Islamabad's reluctance to join the coalition against Yemen's Houthi rebels. Last year in March, the Arab kingdom launched a military campaign against the Shiite rebels, who have taken over swathes of territory in Riyadh's southern neighborhood, raising concerns in Saudi Arabia about a potential Shiite uprising in the kingdom.

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

Saudi Arabia also fears that Iran wants to increase its influence in the region. In AprilRiyadh formally asked for Pakistani combat planes, warships and soldiers, but the South Asian country's lawmakers voted to remain neutral in the conflict.

  • Pakistan–Saudi Arabia relations

However, security experts say that being an ally of Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is part of a security cooperation agreement under which about 1, Pakistani troops are performing an "advisory" role to Riyadh and are stationed in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.

There is a mammoth work force of Pakistani laborers in the Arab countries. The reason why Pakistan's army chief has accompanied Sharif on a number of Saudi visits since the start of the Yemen war represents the military's intentions to sell Pakistani weapons to the Arab leaders and to test the locally-manufactured drones and missiles in Yemen, said the analyst.

However, Islamabad's over-enthusiasm to please Riyadh could further exacerbate its relations with Tehran. That resulted in the clandestine sale of Chinese CSS2 intermediate range surface-to-surface missiles — which are capable of carrying nuclear warheads — to Saudi Arabia.

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

The leadership in Riyadh must recognize its inadvertent lapse in the region. Foreign policy, as Henry Kissinger argues, is the art of establishing priorities, and Saudi priorities need to be reconfigured if it wants to be the leader of the Muslim world. The Saudi strategy for the last 45 years has been to rely on its two crucial regional allies: This was evident back inwhen the Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad openly boasted to Pakistani officials that Iran could bring a million Shiites into the streets of Pakistan in a matter of hours.

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

In such circumstances, the Saudi policy makers would have to make a choice of striking a balance with Pakistan. The main focus of Saudi strategy since King Salman took over in has been to contain Iran and its influence in the Muslim world. That said, alliances do not have to be perfect; as Kissinger surmised, the test is not about absolute satisfaction but balanced dissatisfaction.

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

Mohammed bin Salman is introducing reform that is welcome not only to the youth of the Kingdom, but also around the world. However, the Crown Prince should readjust the priorities of the Kingdom in accordance with the changing times. Saudi Arabia must not hand over its regional allies to Iran, nor should it cede space that has traditionally been its domain or zone of influence.

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan: Moving From the Personal to the Strategic Domain | RUSI

A wise Saudi policy would be to maintain and preserve its traditional alliances. In fact, people familiar with the region know that the Kingdom has more leverage over Pakistan than the US.

shifting pakistan and saudi arabia relationship

For Pakistan, Saudi Arabia is economically and diplomatically crucial and Islamabad cannot risk its alliance with Riyadh. If the question is where does the Pakistan-Saudi alliance stand today, the answer depends on the leadership in Saudi Arabia and what its next steps are going to be.

Pakistan–Saudi Arabia relations - Wikipedia

Every Saudi leader since King Faisal has had a vision and policy for South Asia, but with a sense of continuity with the policies of their predecessors. For the Kingdom to be a fortress of Islam — and the Ummah — it needs a clearly enunciated vision by Mohammed bin Salman and a balanced strategy. The region awaits the policy and long-term strategy of the new Saudi Arabia under King Salman.

She writes on foreign and defense policies of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.