10/16/2021

Pakistan and Arab’s drifting ideology

State relations are not subject to the interests of individuals. It was a time when Pakistan was in the core of heart and in the centre of strategic depth in the Middle East. Pakistan on one hand and Egypt on the other side supervened as defensive sieges for the Gulf allies. Together, the right and the left would strengthen the Saudi defence.

Pakistan’s significant role in the Arab-Israeli 66 collision had deepened further its role and strengthened its ties with beleaguered Arabs. During the Cold War, Pakistan and Arabs got closer in the guardianship of the capitalist United States of America. Afterward, with each passing day, Islamabad enjoyed its brotherly collation with its Arab friends. In 1998, the echoes of the nuclear blasts heard in the palace of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, and adored when Islamabad wore the medal of nuclear power on its chest.

The harmony and same page policy among Saudis, Emirates and Pakistan can be gauged from their Afghan 90’s policy. The depth and warmth in relationship deepened and deepened, and turned to its climate in the last decades in the last century. During the time, our eastern neighbouring foe had never been well received by our Arab ally friends. The Indo-Arab relations remained strained at diplomatic front for almost seven decades. Reciprocally, Pakistan’s tie with Israel and Iran remained cold-blooded. Islamabad’s pro-Taliban policy added stalemate in relations and built climate of mistrust and hostility with Iran. Iran began to value its relations with our neighbouring rival despite Indians having very close ties with Israel. Our love and affections for the Arabs and distance from Tehran gave Indiaa chance to build a hub of relationship. The Indian investment in ChabaharPort was the direct result of our antagonism-based Iran policies.

In advent of the Arab Spring, the situation suddenly began to take turn for the worse. Mubarak’s departure from Egypt, collapse of Saudi backed government in Yemen, takeover of Iranian sponsored Hoti rebels, failure to end Asad’s regime in Syria, Erdogan’s evolution in Turkey and democratic frenzy in Pakistan posed more challenges. The prevalent Shiite ideology in Iraq, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen put pressure so much on our Arab friends. The preventive interventions and retaliatory measures did not prove to be very fruitful in the region.

The old and reliable friend Pakistan was summoned to become part of the power play in the Middle East but Islamabad opted to remain neutral in the enigma keeping in mind the domestic compulsions, fearing the fault line Shia Sunni rift may not have brought inside and spread in the country side. Islamabad’s unexpected response amplified anger in our furious Arab friends. The failure against Hooti Rabbles and Asad’s regime further fuelledthe anger. The undemocratic departure of the democratic revolution and languishing of first elected President of Egypt President Morsi create further rift among Turkey and Arabs. Turkey expressed displeasure over the undemocratic move and Pakistan taken its side, it further aggravates the annoyance, even after casted vote in favour of Turkey by choosing over Emirates for the World Expo 2020. In consequence, later became one of the reasons for the departure of the rulers of the past in Islamabad.

The furies friends were under this impression that the refusal is just a matter of time and with the change of regime in Islamabad it will mend its ways. However, with the departure MNS, the fog on the relations began to dissipate and the warmth in the relations amplifying again. The arrival of the Crown Prince in Pakistan and appreciation like Pakistan’s ambassador in Saudi Arabia, increase in the credit line put things in the right direction. Pakistan still had a long way to go. Meanwhile, Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia announced the launch of a joint TV channel on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly session. Pakistan’s unilateral withdrawal from the Kuala Lumpur conference on Saudi influence not only raised questions about our state sovereignty, but also worsened the situation. What a dilemma for Pakistan; Turkey is a role model whereas it is equally unpopular in Arabs — historically considered the heir of the Ottoman Empire who ruled over Arabs. In case of Turks, Arabs are very sensitive and considered a greater threat even than the Iranians. With Turks in our heart and Arabs in our mind, Pakistan wants to maintain its tie at the same time whereas Arabs don’t respect to do so.

The broadcasting of Turkish serial on our state TV despite being banned in Arab world,the imposition of unannounced ban on Turkish products gives an insinuation of the future. The evolving of Turks as regional power posing serious challenges against the Arabs, therefore our friends(Arabs) are looking at friends’ (USA) friend like Indo Israel. The arrival of the Emirati Crown Prince in full splendour in Delhi and its pledged largest direct foreign investment in India was the result of change in policy. Subsequently Indian PM Modi conferred the highest civilian award was a prelude to future strategy. Amid the Arab offered and extended hands of friendship to Israel. This, of course, made the cinematic an overnight sensation. Extending a hand of friendship to Israel at a time when Trump is leaving and Joe Biden is rising. It’s an indication that not everything is going well in the kitchen. The US strategy based on exaggerating Iran as a threat for Arabs concluded very fruitfully and the deepening rift among Arabs and Iran further deepened down and Israel emerged as an acceptable state. The change of strategy in Arabs forced them to opt silence and keep their mums tightly close over Kashmir Issue, further create demand for repayment of loans, visits of Indian Military Chief to the Imperial Kingdom is the key indication either follow or go away.

Establishment of formal relations with Israel, declining of diplomatic relations with Iran and placed in Cold-blooded level, curtail narrowing distances from Turks, follow the Go Slow policy in China-Pak economic corridor could be the top in demand list otherwise the drifting ideology among former allies shall continue to further drift.

The article is penned by Muhammad Shafiq Ch and was published in Daily Times.

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