Pak-Saudi Relations

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Saudi Interior Minister Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Saud bin Naif has arrived in Islamabad on a day-long visit to Pakistan. The interior minister of Pakistan received his counterpart, both of the ministers hold delegation-level talks and discuss matters of mutual interest and regional situation. Pakistan values its relations with Saudi Arabia as they are based on mutual trust and Islamic brotherhood. KSA always tried to increase its relations first, then influence through gifts, loans, free visas to laborers, funded madrasa education system, and economic assistance to the government. Pakistan’s relation with KSA mainly is of four types; which are Diplomatic, economic, political, and Defense based. KSA is funding 24000 madrasas, there are about 2 million workers are working in KSA which brings 4.5 billion dollars in remittance annually. And now at the time of economic crisis, Gulf states, led by Saudi Arabia, will be key to Pakistan’s economic recovery in a post-Covid context. Pakistani labor needs access to Gulf markets, and Pakistan needs remittances. The country’s new vision of ‘geoeconomics’ defined in the National security policy of the state indicates that Pakistan must consider ways in which it can be an attractive trade partner for its Gulf allies. Pakistan also desperately needs the renewable energy projects that Saudi seeks to back. While mutually beneficial economic opportunities should underpin the future of Saudi-Pakistan relations, the urgency to course correct the relationship lies in shifting geopolitical realities. Now after the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, peace, and stability is the major concern for both of the states. Similarly, Counterterrorism remains an area where more coordination is merited, particularly as Pakistan stands on the cusp of a domestic and foreign militant resurgence. The only way to navigate the shifting sands of Middle Eastern geopolitics and ensure that Pakistan’s interests are protected is with a well-articulated, independent, and futuristic foreign policy vis-à-vis the Gulf.

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