By Shaikh Moazzam Khan
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are two important countries of the Muslim world. Both have had long history of their bilateral ties. The nature of their bilateral ties starts from political and ends in strategic domain. No matters who is in the power in both countries, their ties are beyond political changes. The religious bonding between both countries compelled each other to cooperate in different domains. Saudi Arabia never disappointed Pakistan when Islamabad asked for the financial, moral and political support on global and regional issues. When Prime Minister Imran Khan came to power in 2018, the country’s economy was dwindling and at the cusp of collapse. He asked Saudi Arabia to help Pakistan which Saudi leadership accepted and offered hard money and oil imports on credit.
Since last few months, a few groups are actively working to create misunderstandings between the relations of both counties. India’s Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) also backing anti-Saudi forces in Pakistan to create sectarian rift between two countries. During the last visit of Saudi Crown Prince Muhamad Bin Salman – widely known as MBS – back in 2019, Indian agencies tried best to create propaganda and malign Saudi-Pak ties in which they failed. It is pertinent to mention here that Saudi Arabia is time testing friend of Pakistan who supports the country without any interest.
The high-level delegations of both countries are visiting each other to explore more opportunities in various sectors. Recently, Pakistan’s Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa along with its spy chief Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed visited Saudi Arabia to expand strategic and defense cooperation between two counties. During the visit, the general met with Saudi political and military leadership where he once again reaffirmed Islamabad’s commitment to protect Saudi Arabia in case of any misadventure by enemies. Saudi leadership, on its part, praised Pakistan for its role in peace in the region.
The visit of General Bajwa to KSA reported positively in international media which termed the visit very important and strategic in nature. However, entire Indian Media remained negative and published anti-Pakistan and Saudi Arab content in its newspapers. The termed the visit a failure by stating that Saudi Crown Prince refused to meet with Pakistan’s Army Chief. These reports of Indian Media were mere hypocrisy and propaganda. Indian media as usual, radiated negative and fake news about the visit, this reflects their frustration.
Indian Media’s reporting and views of Indian journalist fraternity on the visit remained beyond the facts. They tried utmost to undermine the visit by proliferating fake stories over flimsy grounds. Similarly, contrary to the reports of Indian Media houses, the visit of COAS ended with a positive note as Saudi Deputy Minister of Defense called General Bajwa his brother. Apart from this, Pakistan delegation was warmly welcomed by Saudi counterparts. But, Indian Media couldn’t resist its old policy of propaganda.
Indian Media failed to spoil Saudi-Pak relations despite giving negative projection to the visit. The ties between two nations are too strong to be erased by misinterpretation of statements negative media campaigns by hostile India. Saudi Arabia endorsed Pakistan’s stance on various issues especially on recently US broke deal between Israel and UAE. Indian desire to drive wedge between KSA and Pakistan died down when Saudi Arabia’s official stance on UAE-Israel peace agreement converged with stance of Islamabad. The Saudi authorities repeated its old stance regarding the establishing ties between both countries by stating that the ties with Jerusalem will only be established if Israel give its consent to the two-state theory on Palestinian issue.
Saudi Arab and Pakistan are iron brothers. No country can harm their bilateral ties by creating misunderstandings and propaganda. The convergence of views of KSA and Pakistan explains the mutual understanding and alignment of strategic direction on geo-politics by both governments. Foreign Minister of Pakistan vehemently denied any rift between the bilateral ties of both countries. He refuted the claims by Indian Media regarding the oil imports to Pakistan by Saudi Arabia on credit. Now, Pakistan must proactively work to pin point those forces who are working against the interests of the country and wanted to create sectarian rift in the country. They must be traced and punished. The anti-KSA lobby within Pakistan also needs to stop during its agenda and playing on Indian tune.
At the end I would conclude my argument by saying that General Bajwa’s visit to KSA remained positive as Saudis have acknowledged Pakistan’s understanding on different regional and international issues.
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