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PAK-SAUDI RELATIONS FUTURE OUTLOOK

  • KHAN HASHAM BIN SADDIQUE
  • Nov, 2017
  • 462
  • Cover Story

The custodian of two holy mosques His majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and the leadership in Pakistan continue to make untiring efforts to promote peace and stability across the world in general and the region in particular

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are arguably two of the most important Islamic countries both in global and regional contexts. We are living in challenging times as the contemporary global geopolitical landscape remains highly complex and uncertain. Peace and stability remain elusive across large swaths of the world. It is easy to discern that era of perpetual violence triggered post traumatic events of 9/11 showing no signs of abating anytime soon. The world today is beset with numerous active conflicts resulting in unprecedented human tragedy and socio-economic problems of epic proportions. Many Muslim countries are especially affected due proximity of these simmering disputes. In the backdrop of this strategic flux, both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have stood by each other steadfastly. The custodian of two holy mosques His majesty King Salman bin Abdul Aziz and the leadership in Pakistan continue to make untiring efforts to promote peace and stability across the world in general and the region in particular.

As we mark 70 years of independence we are proud that despite some challenging times Pakistan is well on the path of progress and prosperity. From a very humble beginning we now occupy an important place in the comity of nations arguably one of the leading Muslim states in the world. Pakistan has successfully spearheaded the campaign against terrorists for over a decade now. The valiant armed forces and law enforcement personnel have written unparalleled history of courage and sagacity. The general population across the length and breadth of the country too, has been resolute and brave to counter the menace. Nearly 60000 Pakistanis have embraced martyrdom while the loss to national economy runs into billions of dollars. As a nation we stand at the cusp where flushing out of the last remnants of these brutal elements is nearing completion. Let no one doubt our quest and sincerity for lasting peace and stability in the region particularly in our neighborhood. We shall continue to partake in international efforts for peace and value their assistance in order to bring normalcy in Pakistan.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia relations are rooted in history as the two countries signed a treaty of Friendship back in 1951, laying the basis for cooperation. We are bonded in strong fraternal relations which reflect trust and common aspirations of the people. Over the past several decades, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have strengthened their brotherly relations in all fields of mutual interest as there exists convergence of views on all issues. Both the countries staunchly support each other at international forums. The regular exchange of high level visits between the two countries is a clear manifestation of our valued ties with the Kingdom. The trend continues and in 2017 alone the Prime minister of Pakistan has visited Saudi Arabia twice for exchange of views at the highest level.

The bedrock of Pak-Saudi relations is indeed exceptional defense and security collaboration between the two countries. Decade old ties are all encompassing which include training, joint exercises, high level visits, maintenance support, port calls etc. A number of officers and men have benefited from defense and security cooperation. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have also shared expertise and experience to combat terrorism and deal with extremism. The cooperation is expanding steadily exploring new vistas in context of emerging security paradigm.

Another indicator of importance of Pak-Saudi relations is the highest regard by the nationals for each other and in fact Pakistanis consider Saudi Arabia as their second home. Saudi Arabia is a gracious host to some 2.6 million Pakistanis, most of whom are employed as technicians, semi-skilled and un-skilled workers. There are also many highly qualified doctors, engineers, financial advisors, IT experts and bankers who are highly respected for their quality of professionalism. Pakistani Diaspora is proud to have made tremendous contributions to the development of Saudi Arabia over the past many years. The remittances by these expatriates contribute significantly to our national economy. I am confident with the transformation of Saudi Economy under the Saudi Vision 2030, there will be more opportunities for the qualified human resource from Pakistan.

The economic ties between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan though remain strong yet there is considerable scope for expansion. The total bilateral trade with Saudi Arabia hovers around $ 2.5 Billion. Both countries have immense potential to increase the trade significa...

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