Is Pakistan with Saudi or Qatar? : Saudi King Salman’s straightforward question to Pakistan’s PM

Islamabad : Saudi Arabia’s King Salman snubbed the Prime Minister of Pakistan, who is on tour to Saudi Arabia. ‘Are you with us or with Qatar’, was King Salman’s straightforward question to Sharif, which embarrassed the Prime Minister of Pakistan. The aggressive stand taken by the Saudi leadership has caught Pakistan in a fix.

It was being claimed that the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif set off to Saudi Arabia to mediate in the issue of the restrictions laid on Qatar by the Arab nations such as Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Egypt and Libya. Analysts in Pakistan had claimed that Pakistan can play a major role to resolve the tensions between Saudi Arabia and Qatar. However, the possibility of the intervention by Pakistan’s Prime Minister seems to be totally ruled out after the direct question raised by Saudi’s King Salman.

Pakistani officials accompanying Sharif informed the media that Prime Minister Sharif clarified on this occasion that Pakistan will not support any one in a dispute which can lead to a rift amongst the Arab-Islamic nations. However, Saudi’s King Salman expressed his discontent over this stand taken by Pakistan. King Salman snubbed Pakistan’s Prime Minister stating, ‘The ban on Qatar is a part of the actions against terrorism. The struggle against terrorism and fundamentalism is for the benefit of the Arab-Islamic nations’, and also asked Pakistan to clarify its stand in regards to Qatar.

Pakistan has good relations with both the nations, i.e. Saudi Arabia and Qatar. Hence hurting these nations would prove a new calamity for Pakistan. At the same time, few analysts are indicating that Pakistan cannot afford to remain neutral in this dispute. Pakistan is dependent on Saudi Arabia for various things. Bur Qatar also is an associate nation of Pakistan. Lakhs of Pakistanis are working in both these nations. All of these would lose employment and will have to return to their home country, if any of these nations are hurt. This would prove to be a frightening disaster for Pakistan, who is already sinking in the sludge of debt.

Prime Minister of Pakistan will be on tour to Kuwait after the tour of Saudi. An Arab country like Kuwait can play an important role in resolving the issues between the Arab nations.The government of Pakistan claims that Pakistan and Turkey will intervene, if it is not possible for Kuwait to do so.

Contrary to what the government of Pakistan is claiming, Pakistan cannot remain neutral in this dispute, since Pakistan has already hurt Iran and Iran’s friendly nations by deciding to participate in the Saudi’s military front. A few balanced analysts in Pakistan itself, are questioning as to how such a nation can ever carry out the role of a mediator in any dispute.

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