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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/15/14

Rationality much Needed in Relations with Saudi Arabia

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Message Muhammad Irfan

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Recently, cordial relations between Islamabad and Riyadh were much discussed by the domestic media in Pakistan. In fact, both collective and individual life a human lives, are obliged to the behaviors profoundly endorsed by the rhetoric and rationality. If the said pertinent perspective is ignored, the life would adversely be supposed to volatility. Hence, the collective life (the state system and decisions) is bound more to be conducted carefully as the regional and international environment demand. In addition to that, the policy pursuits are required to be devised properly in accordance with the national interests' per-requisites.

In actuality, Pakistan situates on the junction where the historically influential civilizations like Chinese, Russians, Central Asians and Persians had prospered and intend once again to materialize their weight age in the global interaction. That is why the security analysis in Islamabad regarding the national interests appears much complex and requires, to a large extent, its elites to burn the boats in an attempt to secure not only the sovereignty but also to attain the considerable international status.

Surprisingly, Pakistan is said to incline more towards Saudi Arabia, ignoring the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and the latter's regional magnitude. This phenomenon emerges as highly discussable when Islamabad has in the near past received 1.5 billion USD, the worth-mentioning monetary aid from the Saudis. It is not less than a tremendous achievement the PMLN led governments has accrued for the cause of nation building. That is why the critics of this shipment should not entirely be pessimistic.

However, the secret deal should not have a negative impact on Iran- Pakistan friendly relations. Ironically, it has glaring strategic ramifications which are likely to be discussed as following. Domestically, the said aspect (imbalanced relations with Saudis and Iranians) is enough to bump the national integrity.

The Shiet Community, the lobby planted by Tehran for its own interests, has also reservations upon the over-burdened penchant towards Saudi Arabia, giving the spacious room in the national harmony. It is obvious that the weapons purchased from Pakistan would ultimately be used against the Basher regime in Syria whose fall is destructive for Iran's regional influence. That is why the Iranian lobby here in Pakistan may have concerns. Regionally, the policy makers in Tehran have also begun to fathom the impact of both side's (Pak-Saudi) immediacy on its national interest.

If the relations with Tehran become adversarial, a regional alliance (Iran, Afghanistan and India) against Pakistan is possibly viable which remains at least difficult to be coped with. Internationally, Pakistan lacks in the support of a major global power as its relations with USA, a core global power have fallen prey to mistrust and misunderstanding on matter of the Pakistan's suspicious role in the war against Afghan fighters as US officials state despite Pakistan suffered an immense cost of war, bearing 69.926 billion USD within 10 years (2001-2011). Moreover, The Pakistani involvement against Basher Government would also exasperate Moscow.

Under such scenario, Russia may, according to some analysts, turn into adversary in its relations with Pakistan. Accordingly, Pakistan would be prone to face many adversaries. Plausible, India, entrenched in the acrimonious history of hostility with Pakistan, is ambitiously building the war arsenal on the eastern border. It is harbinger of the intricate situation regarding Pakistani national defense.

New Delhi has, under CHANKIAN Theory of diplomacy, converted Afghanistan against Pakistan. In current policy courses of actions, if Iranian factor is ignored, the difficulties that Islamabad may suffer in regard of national security, may be multiplied. Iranians would come closer to New Delhi. A trica of regional foes against Islamabad as mentioned above is more likely to emerge which remain indigestible.  

More glaringly, on the matter of the exacerbated relations with Pakistan the efforts by Tehran for developing nuclear deterrence would expedite causing adverse effect on the efforts rendered by P5+1 for peaceful solution of the Iranian nuclear issue. This is destructive not only for the regional stability but also pose grave threats to the international economic interaction (affecting the shipment and supply of oil and gas) and peace. In fact, Tehran and Saudi Arabia confront each other on various regional issues. Among them, the regional supremacy is obvious which derails the two states towards misperception causing a serious blow to the regional stability.

Finally, Pakistan should remain realistic rather than being obsessively irrational in its options for choosing wrong directions. Pakistanis feel pride on the relations with Saudi Arabia. Nonetheless, Iran cannot be ignored. Ignoring Tehran would simply mean to strengthen the enemies.


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Muhammad Irfan has authored many books. He is an internationally recognized scholar. He has presented his papers in national and international conferences. He is also a freelance journalist and contributes to both national and international (more...)

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