Indian Prime Minister’s Visit to Saudi Arabia
Prime Minister Narendra Modi embarked on a two-day visit to Saudi Arabia on Monday with an aim to boost the bilateral ties between the two countries in key sectors including energy and finance. Modi paid a visit to the Kingdom at the invitation of Saudi King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. The Prime Minister’s agenda included talks with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, attend the third session of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) Forum and also address the FII plenary session.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive talks with Saudi Arabia’s top leadership during which a Strategic Partnership Council was established to coordinate decisions regarding strategically important issues.
PM Narendra Modi visited after the Pakistani Prime Minister visited a few days ago, which was carried out under the garb of mediating peace talks between Saudi Arabia and Iran on the request of US president, Donald Trump, which was later rubbished by the US President. The actual purpose of the visit was obviously to beg for alms and gather as much loan as possible.
Denial of Airspace
With the news of the Indian Prime Minister visiting Saudi Arabia, someone seemed very disturbed at the prospect of new camaraderie being built. It seems that Pakistan has not finished sulking over the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir. They turned down a request from India for the use of its airspace for Modi’s visit to Saudi Arabia a day prior to the visit. India had sought Pakistan’s permission to use the country’s airspace on October 28 for Modi. This goes to show how immature a government can be that it handles the situation by going against set protocols to permit the use of airspace for the movement of a VVIP.
As always Pakistan’s interests with Saudi Arabia were limited to expecting help in times of need by asking for financial assistance. The only thing Pakistan banks upon is that one Islamic country would help another. It is incapable of looking beyond the realm of religion based interests that the two nation share. There were hardly any deals signed between the heads of the two countries that could show any promise of growing friendship on the bed of economic growth.
While Pakistan did manage to get some alms from the crown prince of Saudi as a loan, what it considers as a victory should actually not be celebrated at all. It is leading Pakistan into an abyss of unending Debt trap, which it already is experiencing with China. On the other hand, India and Saudi Arabia, inked over a dozen agreements in several key sectors including oil and gas, defence and civil aviation to bolster their ties, marking a very successful visit by the Prime Minister of India.
With the recent developing friendship with India, Saudi has proved that it is not interested in a nation for the religion or the ethnicity of its people, but for the promise of development and more economic growth opportunities. India’s relations with Saudi Arabia have been on an upswing over the last few years based on burgeoning energy ties. PM Narendra Modi departed from Riyadh after steering the India-Saudi relationship on an upward trajectory pointing towards greater collaboration in future.
02 Nov 2019/Saturday Written by: Saima Ebrahim