A path of self destruction: Pakistan not to commit suicide by supporting Saudia
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2016-01-11 13:14:36

A path of self destruction: Pakistan not to commit suicide by supporting Saudia

pak

Saudi Arabia is a brotherly country Pakistan cannot ignore. Iran is a friendly neighbour that Pakistan can ill afford to lose. That the Saudi foreign minister first visited the COAS underlined the main purpose behind the visit i.e., seeking a greater role for the Pakistani army in Saudi misadventures that have already landed Riyadh in the Yemen quagmire. Saudi Kingdom also wants Pakistan to play a major role in the Saudi-led military alliance with an undefined agenda. Those who joined the alliance are now being required to cut off ties with Iran.Pakistan’s strategic interests, on the other hand, demand closer relations with Iran. It was understandable on the part of Nawaz Sharif to reiterate the country’s traditional policy of standing shoulder to shoulder with the people of Saudi Arabia against any threat to its territorial integrity and sovereignty. Pakistan knows that the Kingdom faces no physical threat from its perceived opponents. After the detailed meetings of the Saudi FM with the leadership of Pakistan, where plenty of platitudes were exchanged and assurances of solidarity in the face of any threat to Saudi sovereignty and territorial integrity were given but nothing of significant importance was agreed, the purpose of the crown prince’s visit might be read as a follow up to get Pakistan to commit to Saudi ambitions more resolutely. However, if the Pakistan government needs any proof that it has adopted the best tact, it can be found in the heavily attended multiple protests in Islamabad and other cities, variously against Pakistan’s decision to conditionally agree to remain part of the Saudi-led 34-country “anti-terror” alliance and against Saudi Arabia’s execution of the cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr. It merits mentioning that simultaneously there have been some pro-Saudi and anti-Iran protests as well. The occurrence of these protests, on a basic level, confirms the sectarian tinged powder keg we find ourselves in, and highlights the need to not stoke these fires further by choosing a side. However, it will also be disingenuous to paint all these protests, especially the ones against Saudi machinations, as simply motivated by sectarian sentiments. They also reveal a broader and deep seated resentment and the reservations of the Pakistani citizenry regarding Pakistan being railroaded into doing the bidding of Saudi Arabia. While it is understandable why Pakistan is not backing out of the “anti-terror” alliance, committing to it with any more enthusiasm than what has been displayed so far will be a disaster waiting to happen, especially since the suspected sectarian overtones of the alliance have by now been all but confirmed. Iran also happens to be our contiguous neighbour and it will be to our benefit (both economically and strategically) to remain on good terms with this internationally rehabilitating country. All signs point to the necessity of prioritising national interest over ‘close friendship’.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

Categories:   Pakistan ، World ، Islamic News ،
Tags:   pakistan ، Saudia ، Iran ، COAS ،
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