Pakistan and the Gulf: what we can do

Published: April 18, 2015
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The writer is a researcher, journalist and host of “@Q” on Express News

The writer is a researcher, journalist and host of “@Q” on Express News

Five days of debate in Pakistan’s parliament is all it took to unravel 50 years of a natural alliance based on trust, history and mutual interest. The archives of the Saudi foreign service hide an interesting anecdote that dates back to 1954. After arriving in Karachi, then Pakistan’s federal capital, King Saud bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, the second king of Saudi Arabia, noticed his official car was not moving. “What is the delay?” he asked his Saudi aide. It transpired that Pakistani protocol officers were waiting for the Saudi flag to be placed on the car’s front. “Why? Is not the Pakistani flag there? That is enough. That is our flag too.” The car moved without a Saudi flag.

The current impasse in Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and most of the Gulf is not about Yemen, or about sending troops. It is about trust. Pakistan has a sovereign right to decide its military engagement in a war abroad. No one questions that. However, our choice of how we communicated our intentions led to an unnecessary diplomatic crisis that will reverberate for a long time to come. The method we adopted was crude, cold, and badly mishandled.

In the name of discussing Yemen, the Pakistani capital witnessed a systematic and organised humiliation of Saudi Arabia for a week. After a half-century of oil boom, Gulf Arabs today are educated, driven and have the most robust print, electronic and social media footprint in the Middle East. While Pakistani media is absent in Arab capitals, Gulf’s media has a lively presence in Islamabad. Our friends and allies in the Gulf closely watched what happened here during April 6-10, and they did not expect it, not from Pakistan.

We might comfort ourselves by saying the debate was a democratic exercise in neutrality. However, this is how it appeared in the Gulf: for an entire week, Pakistani politicians ridiculed the Saudis, called them names, accused them of aggression, questioned Riyadh’s intentions, and all but held the Saudis responsible for every ill in the Middle East. It was a diplomatic fiasco. I cannot recall the last time parliament in Iran, a country engaged in a regional cold war with the Saudis, indulged in crude Saudi-bashing like we did. In short, Saudi Arabia was on trial in Islamabad. You do not behave like this with friends in your personal life, let alone between nations at crucial times.

How many times have Pakistani parliamentarians bashed India like this? Never. In fact, the Indian prime minister took a swipe at Pakistan in the middle of our Saudi-bash fest, on April 8, accusing us of fostering a “violent environment” that made peace talks impossible. He lied. Yet not a single member of parliament rebuffed the Indian premier. When the Gulf Arabs began to get over the initial shock, Pakistani media created another hype by picking up one line from five tweets made by a UAE minister of state, taking his words out of context, and creating a warlike situation with one of our closest allies. I know some of our politicians, who would never be caught criticising India, taking on Riyadh like it was the enemy.

In the UAE, more government officials are on Twitter than in Islamabad. Taken together, the UAE minister’s tweets reflected angst and disappointment by a friend in distress. It was an early sign that our parliament’s message and its wording sent the wrong signal, that Islamabad failed to appreciate the sense of insecurity currently prevalent in the Gulf, where the people see wars in Yemen and Iraq as attempts of Iranian encirclement and a prelude to chaos in the Gulf similar to Libya and Syria. The point is that if we planned to destroy five decades of a special relationship with some of our closest allies, we have almost succeeded. This relationship had many enemies. Instead of containing any misunderstandings, we allowed them to get out of control.

I monitored the reactions in the Gulf media. Two days before Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s April 13 statement, I used the ‘shoulder to shoulder’ analogy in an Arabic-language segment on my Express News political commentary show “@Q”. It went viral on Gulf media. The story was published in newspapers, and the segment was telecast in Saudi Arabia’s top political talk show hosted by veteran journalist Dawood Al-Sherian on al-Arabiya. In four days, the video had 130,000 hits from the Gulf, Jordan and Egypt. Almost unanimously, they thanked all Pakistanis and me but said they no longer trusted Pakistan’s government. What to do now?

On Yemen, the Pakistani interest is firmly aligned with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. This is in the interest of all Pakistanis, regardless of political affiliations. Iran’s involvement in the Yemen conflict does not make it sectarian. In fact, invoking sectarianism in our debate on Yemen is tantamount to blackmailing Pakistan on a very important strategic issue. Millions of Pakistanis, regardless of politics, sect and religion have a direct economic interest in a strong, robust relationship with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. Moreover, two Shia leaders, the King of Morocco and the president of Azerbaijan, support the Saudi position on Yemen. There is nothing sectarian about this strategic conflict.

We cannot support Iran’s position on the Houthis. Our friends in Tehran understand this and accept it. This will not harm our relationship. Tehran did not support Pakistan’s position in Afghanistan in the 1990s due to its own strategic calculus. We respect that. As friends and neighbours, we work together on some issues and disagree respectfully on others. Now, the UN Security Council resolution under Chapter VII, with the support of P-5, including Russia, gives legal cover to Operation Decisive Storm. It is a moral and a political victory for the Saudis. Pakistan should extend unlimited support to this operation. Also, the Gulf Arabs see the operation as an indigenous Arab and Muslim military solution after long enduring foreign military interventions in the region. It has become a matter of pride and destiny.

The Saudis are disturbed because of conflict on two fronts: Yemen and Iraq. This is the time to show support to an ally. Ideas such as mediation and neutrality make no sense. The Houthis are outlaws who rebelled against a legal government. As the Saudi ambassador to Washington announced on April 16, the Houthis are Yemeni citizens and are welcome to participate in the political process, but cannot seize power or act as proxies of Iran in the Saudi backyard. This is a fair objective of the operation and is similar to our own action against the TTP and BLA terror groups. While our role will be limited in the Saudi-led coalition due to our strategic constraints, we can help the Gulf states by assisting them in securing the Saudi-Yemen border, and securing the oil facilities so that Saudi forces can focus directly on operations in Yemen. For the people in the Gulf, this is an existential war. Gulf citizens and Arabs will remember our policy choices now for a long time to come.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 18th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (44)

  • qbc
    Apr 18, 2015 - 1:26AM

    To the writer literally everything you wrote was wrong shame on you know wonder Pakistan is in such a bad state Pakistan does not need enemies like you.

    Saudi is killing innocent people in yemen like 74 civilians today.
    Saudi is responsible for making the Taliban al qeada isis nusra and so many more terrorist groups who have killed 74,000 Pakistanis but you don’t care about that.

    In afganistan Pakistan supported the extreamists who later became the Taliban so why would iran support them.

    The Moroccan leader is not shia and the Azerbaijan president is not the same shia as in the rest of the world.

    There is so much more I could write but I do not have the time because everything you wrote were a pack of lies all the problems in the muslim world are the direct fault of Saudi Arabia be it Pakistan yemen Iraq Syria bahrain Libya Egypt etc.

    Saudi Arabia is backward terrorist evil country who beheads innocent Pakistanis and kills women and children with sucide bombs every day.Recommend

  • qbc
    Apr 18, 2015 - 1:37AM

    Saudi Arabia is attacking another country which is against the un charter of course nothing will happen because Saudis are amercias and isreals best friend.

    The houtis are nothing like bla as you said first of all there was no election in yemen terrorist president hadi was picked by the Saudis and amercia. There was suppose to be a general election in jan 2015 but was postponed by HADI because the Saudis thought he would lose. The houtis don’t want to break up yemen they want free and fair elections also they want all previous agreements to be implemented.The BLA are a terrorist group who are killing people to break country only a Saudi supporter would compare the two.Recommend

  • Sun Tzu
    Apr 18, 2015 - 1:44AM

    Looks like a paid column! Recommend

  • Rahul
    Apr 18, 2015 - 3:20AM

    The reason Pakistan has no independent Foreign Policy is that it never really learnt to stand on its own feet. Recommend

  • Arijit Sharma
    Apr 18, 2015 - 4:51AM

    This gentleman should be appointed as Pakistan’s Foreign Minister immediately. I do not know of anybody who has better out-of-the-box imagination.Recommend

  • Iqbal
    Apr 18, 2015 - 8:54AM

    A great example of twisted logic. Iranians will understand if we do not support them. But the same courtesies are not extended by the Saudi rulers. There is nothing sectarian about the conflict. But the Saudis want the professional army men to be profiled sect wise before they are sent to Yemen. The author wrote something which was well appreciated in the Gulf. And the Pakistani people betrayed him, and of course the brethren in the Gulf by deciding other wise. Recommend

  • Murad
    Apr 18, 2015 - 9:19AM

    As an expat living in UAE, I have nothing but praise for the author who has understood the damage this 5-day Parliament debate did to our relations with the Gulf countries and how it has started affecting us Pakistanis living in this region. How this foolish debate and its context was painted by the Indians over here and especially gulf news, the largest paper in the UAE is just horrific. Pakistani Parliament is responsible for being short sighted and totally immature , even if we were not sending troops there is a way State’s act with other State’s especially the ones who have been very close to you. I hope some damage control can be done by this N-League govt and our politicians given a crash course in International relations and diplomatic norms. Recommend

  • sabi
    Apr 18, 2015 - 10:47AM

    @qbc:
    Anyone who only listen to pakistani talk shows or read Urdu newspaper has in fact no knowledge but confusions most often leading to stupidity.To have a better knowledge of how world moves and how one should form rational opinions or how one should react to circumstances in constructive ways one needs to find some good source of information. You and many many others need real education.
    Use your brain that nature has gifted you.Recommend

  • RHS
    Apr 18, 2015 - 11:01AM

    Very poor column here. If the Saudi’s and the Gulf Sheikhs want affection and protection from Pakistanis, the first step should be to treat their people better! Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    Apr 18, 2015 - 12:31PM

    we have lost more than 60,000 civilian lives, our soldiers still sacrificing their lives in the dirty war Zia and Musharraf jumped in. the adverse economic impact is beyond proportions. we host the largest refugees population in the world. we have never found a peaceful time for the last three decades to focus on our own development ….. does someone understand this?? we know how Saudis treat us Bakistanis. the only thing they want is our army. and this army is not for rent!!
    our Saudi “friends’ should also understand our position..think peace peace not war.Recommend

  • MaZz
    Apr 18, 2015 - 12:43PM

    You talk about the incident of 1954, so just because the Saudi King moved with just the Pakistani flag in the protocol, you want Pakistan to embroil in Saudia’s proxy wars? I mean that’s the only good enough reason you could come up with? Why not talk about the wars Pakistan has faced. Where was Saudia when Pakistan was being cut into pieces?
    The words UAE minister used were not acceptable in any context. You cannot justify those words no matter how hard you try. You talk about the Saudi and the Gulf relationship with Pakistan and their support, are you blind enough not to see what our country has been made into? All this unrest is thanks to the Saudia and the Gulf countries. Saudis are disturbed because of conflicts on two fronts. Are you frigging blind? Can’t you see conflicts in Pakistan on all fronts?
    You are nothing but a paid stooge of the Saudis. I say we should do what the people of Pakistan want. Enough of being beggars and being treated as slaves. Lets develop the Gawader port and be a responsible country.Recommend

  • Karrar Siddique
    Apr 18, 2015 - 1:11PM

    Very well written factually correct words.
    We need more of AQ in Pakistan, to put up counter narrative to baseless and hypocrite propaganda of few face book pages and that of some fake defence experts.Recommend

  • jun
    Apr 18, 2015 - 1:56PM

    Anyone can be intellectual and journalist nowadays like Ahmad Qureshi Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 18, 2015 - 2:24PM

    Hats off to Ahmad Qureshi for writing the best column on this burning issue of Saudia and Yemeni rebels conflict, this is an excellent piece, i appreciate the authors unbiased thinking and bold stance on this issue, i fully endorse the opinion of Ahmed Qureshi on this issue.
    Pakistan must support its time-tested friend called Saudia Arab.Recommend

  • Adnan
    Apr 18, 2015 - 3:40PM

    What a sad manipulation of facts! Saudis are the aggressors in Yemen, because they cannot afford an assertive neighbor. Saleh and co were ideal for Saudi. They kept the nation on khat, tottering along, without hope or ambition. Houthis, ideal by no measure, had the drive to disrupt the status quo and for that they are being punished.

    There has never been a threat to Saudi territorial integrity. If there ever was, then we will go and defend them, as friends are supposed to. We will, however, not get drawn into a fight picked by a bully in response to petty insecurities.

    For once, I am proud of the decision our parliament has made. Recommend

  • OK
    Apr 18, 2015 - 6:33PM

    Interesting…

    As the Saudi ambassador to Washington announced on April 16, the Houthis are Yemeni citizens and are welcome to participate in the political process, but cannot seize power or act as proxies of Iran in the Saudi backyard. …….

    So why not allow Saudi citizens participate in the political process in Saudi first?!Recommend

  • Hugh Slaman
    Apr 18, 2015 - 7:16PM

    I agree that the insulting attitude of Parliament is a huge blow to our relations with longstanding political and economic allies. This follows the current government’s failure to appoint a competent Foreign Minister who can diplomatically handle such matters without having to drag things through Parliament.
    I am not sure why you think the King of Morocco is a Shia. He is from Ahl al Bayt, yes, but he is firmly Sunni (as firmly Maliki as people in Pakistan are firmly Hanafi).Recommend

  • saleem hatoum
    Apr 19, 2015 - 12:09AM

    It is given that Hindus/Indians will love the crack between Saudi and Pakistani. As far as the anti-Saudi attidute you have no clue what international relationship is all about. Recommend

  • Aamir
    Apr 19, 2015 - 12:14AM

    I completely agree with the writer, it is not about sectarian thing, it is about a friend who is always with pakistan no matter what. we should assist them and if possible we have to go with them should to shoulder. But sadly there are elements within pakistan who doesn’t want that and neither people know that in the past pakistan involved in many fights within the gulf. But sadly some hypocrites people doesn’t want us to get involved in this. I as a pakistani completely favor pakistan army to assist saudia arabia in these difficult times.Recommend

  • Schumaila
    Apr 19, 2015 - 12:15AM

    I completely agree with the author on the point that our parliamentarians would never bash India or even Iran the way they did Saudi. The same parliamentarians would never mourn deaths of innocent civilians by Syrian army. Indians and Iranians are injecting huge amount of money in our media houses to twist stories in their favor. Saudi is backed by P5 including USA, they would definitely come out of this issue but Pakistan would lose the time tested allies Recommend

  • Ariba
    Apr 19, 2015 - 12:55AM

    How sad that ET is not going to publish any comments which go against Saudia Arabia or ET is as corrupt as Pakistani politicians not willing to do their job.

    Yemen is being under attack like Palestine has been for decades. Like Israelis are killing innocents so is Saudis.

    Why in the World the Author thinks that Saudia attacking Yemen has not killed any innocents yet. AQ’s hypocrisy is that he writes against Israel but not willing to write against Saudia. Sad!

    Plz ET do your job and post. Recommend

  • Mobashir
    Apr 19, 2015 - 1:26AM

    Shame on you. Saudi arab our friend? Make no sense. Height of ignorance you shown in this article. as far as the Pakistani in the gulf region getting paid of their hard working job, they dont get donations or alms. Make no sense we support saudi aggression anywhere for this. We, Pakistani will not bear this type of mind set in our mother land any more.Recommend

  • Babur Chughtai
    Apr 19, 2015 - 1:44AM

    Hats off to Mr Quraishi for a solid, well argued and well written case for Pakistan joining Operation Decisive Storm. Indeed, foreign players are using Pakistani faces to blackmail Pak government by waving the sectarian card. We can have a legitimate difference of opinion with our neighbour Iran without turning it into a sectarian issue. The blackmail on this should stop. Also, Saudi political system, or how they treat foreign labour, etc., these things have no relevance to the subject at hand. Pakistan should go ahead and express full support to the Saudi-led coalition, and participate militarily where possible.

    Last point, I am concerned that government-sponsored trolls from two neighbours of Pakistan are using Pakistani names to abuse Gulf nations to further damage Pak ties. Recommend

  • zain
    Apr 19, 2015 - 1:49AM

    This guy is on shrooms. Clearly he never experienced the arab brutality. Pakistan decision for not sending troops to Yemen is justifiable after all its Pakistan’s army not Saudis or UAE’s. It pains me how our own people are turning a blind side and happily bashing our people. I think that Arabs have ruined most of the Islam specifically the Saudis. Infact they don’t even like our kind since we look alien to them. This is not a friendship between two states but rather a “you scratch my back I’ll scratch your back” kind of friendship. I believe it is time to stand up show the world that they can’t just influence us. We should definitely exile our politicians and elect people who posses vision and understanding of a country.Recommend

  • TAKhan
    Apr 19, 2015 - 2:26AM

    It is very biased to present the King of Morocco as a ‘Shiah’. The King never projects himself as Shia. The situation is much more complex. Indeed, if you look into the particular situation of Morocco,more carefully, it shows that ‘the Kings of Morocco many centuries ago have chosen to adopt Sunna as religious doctrine instead of Shia. Yet, they have chosen a very clever Sunna doctrine, as they married the doctrine of Malik Bnu Anass to the philosophy of Ashaari and to the Sufism of Junayd. Consequently, Morocco has kept many of its Shia roots and symbols and at the same time satisfied the needs of the street people (Al Jamaa), by adopting a Sunni Maliki Ashaari Junaydi approach of Islam’. Recommend

  • TAKhan
    Apr 19, 2015 - 2:30AM

    It is a very biased article and a little bit of research shows that the King if Mororroco never projects himself as ‘Shia’. Indeed, one can easily find out that ‘the Kings of Morocco many centuries ago have chosen to adopt Sunna as religious doctrine instead of Shia. Yet, they have chosen a very clever Sunna doctrine, as they married the doctrine of Malik Bnu Anass to the philosophy of Ashaari and to the Sufism of Junayd. Consequently, Morocco have kept many of its Shia roots and symbols and at the same time satisfied the needs of the street people (Al Jamaa), by adopting a Sunni Maliki Ashaari Junaydi approach of Islam’.Recommend

  • sajid ayub khan
    Apr 19, 2015 - 4:04AM

    Dear bro,s
    Just for my own information l would like to know plz tell me since when and on which political issue on international form Iran proved that they are Pakistan,s friend, but Saudi Arabia yes always there for Pakistan,Iran is always close to india weather it it is Kashmir or Afghanistan,Recommend

  • Saudi
    Apr 19, 2015 - 6:34AM

    Thats it Ahmed. The damage has been done. Pak-saudi relations will never be the same again. Thnx for the stand up, but its too late. Pak had made Iranian puppets like Nasrallah of Hizbollah make jokes out of us. He thanked Pak for rebuffing Saudi. We were mislead for over 50 years, so the shock is unimagineable in the Saudi public. Recommend

  • kashif
    Apr 19, 2015 - 7:36AM

    Writer seems totally immature who can not read situation properly. Pakistan can not indulge into Saudi and Iran else proxy wars. That’s the fact. We can not afford to burn ourself with secterian violence just to please saudia. Saudia is ally ok, we will not let someone change boundaries of saudia. That’s enough and our foreign ministry should handle it in a way that tells saudia also that we will not be part to any misadventure by saudia or Iran. However we stand at back of them in case of any problem. Ahmad qureshi proved that ppl perceived him wrongly. This is a kid not mature enough to write on international issues. Recommend

  • Virkaul
    Apr 19, 2015 - 9:56AM

    @Murad:
    We understand your compulsion Sir. Living in the Middle East, it is your duty to support them to keep your job and status. I have worked in the gulf too but wouldn’t support armed aggression against any country. Saudi aggression is wrong from the start. Recommend

  • Amjad Khan
    Apr 19, 2015 - 5:40PM

    Bro i strongly endorsed your point of you.You have portrayed quite rational and logical image in order to justified the philosophy “A friend in need, is a friend indeed”.Gulf countries especially Saudi govt have support us in many worse condition.I don’t want to remind it one by one,every pakistani who has mind and heart understand it betterly.But unfortunately in time of great assay our govt hands up to support saudi gulf allies.
    i have read some comments which are extreme biased in nature i personally consider these people Iranian puppets shame on such people.Almost 85% of our population support Saudi arabia with heart and mind.
    With best regardsRecommend

  • Sak1978
    Apr 19, 2015 - 6:23PM

    I want to ask the writer one question. What was Saudi Arabia’s and other Gulf countries’ reaction to Pakistan’s 1971 war with India. Then also there was a rebellion by a geoup against Pakistani government to which India supported and Bangladesh was created!
    Besides, how come the writer claim that Saudi Arabia is Pakistan’s friend? They are Nawaz Sharif’s friends, they are military dictators’ friends. Had they been our friends, they would have invested in the progress of Pakistan. How many schools have they created? How manu hospitals? How much aid or loan they give to Pakistan? They funded extremists! They funded Medrassahs who promoted Saudi version of Islam in Pakistan that has made our people intolerant!
    And last but not the least! How much respect do they give to Pakistanis in their country? I hope the wroter knows, legally Saudi men are not allowed to marry Pakistani women…. Still the writer call Saudis our friends! Looks like he lives in some imaginary world!Recommend

  • a_writer
    Apr 19, 2015 - 8:20PM

    Mr.Quraishi:

    You write “I know some of our politicians, who would never be caught criticising India ….”. Could you please name these politicians?
    In all the years of reading Pakistani news website, the one common and consistent feature I have noticed is – Pakistani politicians of all stripes never miss a chance to bash India at the slightest chance – after all, it is such a safe and cheap way to pander to all Pakistanis, especially the religious extremists in Pakistan.Who in his right mind in Pakistan is going to express outrage against a politician who criticized India?
    I really would like to know more about this special breed of politicians you are talking about.Recommend

  • Rex Minor
    Apr 19, 2015 - 8:28PM

    @RHS:
    If the Saudi’s and the Gulf Sheikhs want affection and protection from Pakistanis, the first step should be to treat their people better!
    Increase the quota hor Haj pilgrimage for example?

    Rex MinorRecommend

  • a_writer
    Apr 19, 2015 - 8:32PM

    I forgot to add one other point to my earlier comment. Mr.Quraishi premise that Pakistan should have entertained Saudi’s request is correct. Just by hiding behind arguments such as ‘Pakistan is a democracy’, ‘the people have spoken’ etc., Pakistani Government has advertised with no ambiguity that it is not only an unreliable ally, but also an ungrateful nation.Recommend

  • Milind
    Apr 19, 2015 - 9:35PM

    “We cannot support Iran’s position on the Houthis. Our friends in Tehran understand this and accept it.”

    Huh??? Why not expect your friends in Riyadh to understand the same?? How will Tehran understand and accept, if you troops start firing on theirs?
    I know that’s not happening now, but given the mess it is in, one cannot discount that possibility at all. Its good that you’re Govt has stood up rather than getting dragged into a quagmire, coming out of which is impossible…Recommend

  • A Pakistani
    Apr 19, 2015 - 11:40PM

    Ahmed Quraishi is a maniac who really good at spinning conspiracy theories. In other countries he would be used as a clown – in Pakistan he is an “analyst”

    Pakistanis have always been simple people who are easily manipulated:

    From Saadat Hassan Manto – “Letters to Uncle Sam,” ( written between 1951 and 1954. )
    Excerpt from letter 8

    And this too was on account of the blessing of god and his approved religion of Islam. And if men in your country find it difficult to deal with four wives., you can certainly seek advice and help from Shah Saud by inviting him over. You are a friend of his and I am told you were rather close to his father, whom you had presented with a cavalcade of cars for his harem.

    I am sure Shah Saud will keep no secrets from you. Every country, except India and Russia, is taking great interest in our Pakistan these days and this is all due to the kind hand of friendship you have extended to us. We Pakistanis are always prepared to lay down our lives for Islam. There was a time when we were the greatest fans of Mustafa Kamal Pasha and Anwar Pasha in Turkey. When news of Anwar Pasha’s death came, we were in mourning. But when we learnt that he was alive after all, we celebrated by decorating our homes with lights. Mustafa Kamal and Anwar were sworn enemies but we knew nothing about it. The Turks had no interest in Indian Muslims. For them, we may as well not have existed. We knew nothing about that either. We just loved them thinking that they were our Islamic brothers. What simpletons we are. We even love a certain scented hair oil because it is sold under the slogan prepared by Islamic brothers’. When we rub it into our scalps we feel ourselves in seventh heaven, compared to which the pleasures of paradise pale into insignificance. We are naive but we are good people. May God keep us the way we are until Judgment Day.Recommend

  • Raja Porus
    Apr 20, 2015 - 1:03AM

    What a brilliant article. I agree 100% with the author’s views.
    Pakistan must, must support Saudi Arabia and the UAE in their time of need, just as they have supported us in our times of need. That’s it, the argument ends there.

    No need to give any importance to the outlandish and foolish views of our rubber-stamp Parliament. GHQ must take the lead on this and ensure that we provide full support to our GCC allies and thereby succeed in crushing those Houthi outlaws and thugs.Recommend

  • Raj - USA
    Apr 20, 2015 - 1:25AM

    Ahmed Quireishi is talking for the saudis and their love for Pakistanis. When saudis need Pakistanis to save their lives but even then they would not give them citizenship. Why can’t the saudis give citizenship to Pakistani army men who they want to fight and die for them in a distant land? Ahmed Quireishi, as he himself said in his TV program, was born in Kuwait. I don’t think he has or can get Kuwaiti citizenship if he wants it. The saudi monarch he is referring in this article was one of the most hated by saudis themselves. The 10 years of his rule saw Saudi economy decline steeply that it was forced to accept a loan of $250 million from US. Saudi economy nose dived mainly due to the monarch’s personal lavish spending. Saudis also saw labor unrests for the first time in their lives. There were two major labor unrests during his period. This monarch could care less for his own country and respect for his country’s flag and his country was immaterial for him. This is the monarch Quireishi is quoting as an example !!!!!!! When saudis and arabs want boys as young as 4 year old to ride their camels in camel races they come to Pakistan. Saudis would not even feed those boys and will keep them starving so that they do not gain weight and their camels have better chances of winning the race. When the boys get injured they send them back to Pakistan and would not pay a penny as compensation to the families of the boys. Recommend

  • zain
    Apr 20, 2015 - 2:11AM

    Saudi Arabia main goal is to suppress different sects, hence they badly need Pakistan army to suppress. War will never give peace we will only reap anger and hatred. Islam did not create sects we humans did. I really don’t understand how can we achieve peace by fighting our own people. Who are we to judge whether shia, ahmed’s, wahabis etc are Muslims or not. The Arab pride has led the Muslim world into chaos. Their kings and sheikhs sit in their castles while their own people are suffering. Yes there is international influence but I blame the Muslims for this. Saudi housing many extremists has led to this. Its been more than 1400 years and we are still debating on whether a woman should wear hijab or not. Is interest halal or not. This is happening because we have gone to a completely different path where we are emphasizing more on sunnas rather than whats obligatory practices.Recommend

  • M7
    Apr 20, 2015 - 2:28AM

    You may hate Indians as your enemies but had you developed good relations with India your economy would not have been so dependent on Middle East.Recommend

  • Sheikh Saa'di
    Apr 20, 2015 - 10:34AM

    A. Iran’s involvement in the Yemen conflict does not make it sectarian. In fact, invoking sectarianism in our debate on Yemen is tantamount to blackmailing Pakistan on a very important strategic issue.

    Sir Jee,

    I will believe this the day Saudi Arabia seeks Pakistan’s help in defeating the Daesh aka IS.

    B. As the Saudi ambassador to Washington announced on April 16, the Houthis are Yemeni citizens and are welcome to participate in the political process,

    And WHO has authorised the Saudi Ambassador to decide who can participate in Yemeni political process and who can not?Recommend

  • Babur Chughtai
    Apr 24, 2015 - 2:42AM

    @Sheikh Saa’di:
    Saudi Arabia is the traditional power broker in Yemen for nearly 70 years. Possibly a half of Saudi population is of Yemeni origin. Saudis have brokered most intra-Yemeni conflicts. Yemeni politicians often look to Saudi Arabia for help. Only someone who has absolutely no idea about Yemen-Saudi relations would ask why Saudis are involved in Yemen. That’s a natural involvement. What you should be asking is why Iran, sitting 3,000km away, and why Hezbollah chief, sitting 5,000km away, is making statements on Yemen. Recommend

  • Ejaz Butt
    May 4, 2015 - 12:57AM

    I am really sad to read this article by a Pakistani who is bemused that his country has made an independent decision by not choosing to be part of a war that is a proxy war between Saudi Arab and Iran. Every state has its own interests and no state is that brotherly to other states. I am glad that Pakistan has shattered the chains of Arab countries slavery and made the decision that she should have made. Pakistan is already paying the hefty price for Russia Afghan War, hence it rightfully avoided making the same mistake again. Well done Pakistan.Recommend

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