NEW DELHI: Pakistan is caught in the shifting sands of the Islamic world’s politics, which may have consequences for its Kashmir policy and its relations with its biggest benefactor, Saudi Arabia.
Pakistani army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and ISI DG Lt Gen Faiz Hameed, who hot-footed it to Riyadh to make amends for foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi’s comments about seeking alternatives to the OIC, were refused an audience with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The two top functionaries of Pakistan’s military-intelligence establishment were left to explain their position to deputy minister for defence Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz. Riyadh didn’t fail to notice that Qureshi held a meeting with Qatar’s ambassador at the same time the army chief was in Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, Qureshi dashed off to Beijing on a mission, where he hoped to get the support that Saudi Arabia denied Pakistan.
“I am leaving on a very important visit to China. My delegation will represent the stance of the political and military leadership of the country. I hope that my meeting with foreign minister Wang Yi will prove to be beneficial for both countries,” Qureshi said. Sources in Riyadh said the Saudis had denied any meeting on Kashmir.
The crux of the problem appears to be Pakistan seeking to make Turkey the alternative Islamic power to Saudi Arabia, as well as trying to build a new Islamic group, including Turkey, Iran, Qatar, Pakistan and Malaysia.
Saudi Arabia and Turkey are locked in a battle for the Islamic world. Turkey’s support of the Muslim Brotherhood, and covert ties with Iran are at the core of it. Iran and Saudi Arabia are locked in a battle for supremacy. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are at loggerheads with Qatar. Qatar is now the only outlier among the Gulf Arab monarchies, having teamed up with Iran, which makes Pakistan’s hobnobbing with them so difficult for Saudi Arabia.
International community must isolate Pakistan, says India
India on Thursday said the international community should isolate Pakistan to increase the cost of engaging in terror activities, especially after its PM’s admission that nearly 40,000 militants are on its soil. India’s reaction came after the speaker of Pakistan’s National Assembly raised the Kashmir issue at the Fifth World Conference of Speakers of Parliament.