Indian Ingress in GCC (The Frontier Post (Pakistan))

India has always tried to defy Pakistani interests, both regionally and at international level. In the initial days, once Pakistan came into being, India created anti Pakistan sentiments in Kabul, which resulted into a strained Pak-Af…

India has always tried to defy Pakistani interests, both regionally and at international level. In the initial days, once Pakistan came into being, India created anti Pakistan sentiments in Kabul, which resulted into a strained Pak-Afghan relationship, which somehow are still not very pleasant. It also tried to spoil Pak-China relationship in 1950s under the slogan of Hindi-Chini Bhai Bhai. Failure to contain Pakistan in its economic, political and diplomatic advancements, India mislead the populace of former East Pakistan through its spying network (RAW) and finally militarily invaded the Eastern part and disintegrated it in 1971.

In late 1980s, once there came a thaw in the bilateral relationship of Pakistan and Iran over the clashing interests in Afghanistan, India immediately moved to Tehran to exploit the situation and created many misunderstanding between Pakistan and Iran. The post Taliban Afghanistan is a contemporary example, where India has created fissure between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Once again India is trying to restrain the space Pakistan has in Middle East, owing to Muslim brotherly relationship. There is a huge India population, mostly Muslims in the Middle Eastern countries. Through this population and through its diplomatic overtures, India has started campaigning against Pakistan and Pakistani people working in this region.

This all is part of Indian strategy against the state of Pakistan. Indian successive leadership has tried to follow the philosophy of Chanakya (Kautilya) which is essentially based on domination over the immediate neighborhood through any mean. Making better relationship with the neighbor of neighbor for creating difficulties for the immediate neighbor is the hallmark of this philosophy. Indian leadership from Nehru to Modi is strong advocate of this philosophy and they practice it religiously. Whereas, other South Asian states have accepted Indian dominance, Pakistan has refused to do so and this indeed is real cause of unpleasant Indo-Pak relationship.

Over the civil war in Yemen, Pakistan reassured Saudi Arabia for its guaranteed support in the event of any misadventure on Saudi soil. Some of the media channels and states like India tried to misinterpret the Pakistani contention to create wedge between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. So much so taking plea of the statement of a junior UAE minister, Indian Prime Minister planned his visit to that country and made many anti Pakistan statements, while sitting in UAE. India also offered a defence pact with Saudi Arabia. However, despite Indian efforts, Saudi Government has refused such a deal with India.

Authorities in Saudi Arabia have assured Pakistan that, KSA continues to be the countrys brother-in-arms by denying a defence pact offered by Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi recently. In this regard, Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Bin Abdel Aziz, who is also the Saudi Defence Minister, conveyed to Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif that the Saudi government was committed to carrying out the defence pact with Pakistan. During a telephonic conversation held last week between General Sharif and Prince Mohammad, the Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown prince rejected all the media hype created during the recent visit of Indian Prime Minister NarendraModi to the UAE. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also been communicated about this misperception.

According to sources in the Foreign Office of Pakistan, the government has been communicated that Saudi Arabia would not enter into any alliance with India at the cost of its relations with Pakistan. According to Prof Hasan AskariRizvi, Saudis Prefer Pak due to internal threats. Dr Rizvisaid that, The Saudis believe that despite a rare chill in relations with Pakistan, the long-term interests of the monarchy are with Pakistan. Pakistan has given a clear cut assurance to the Royal family that though it would not send its troops for Yemen war, it would send its forces in case of an internal conflict.

Neither Indian nor US forces would be allowed in Saudi Arabia in case of an internal conflict.

Currently, Saudi Arabia is the 4th largest partner of India with the volume of bilateral trade touching $48.75 billion at the end of financial year 2014. The former Saudi King, Abdullah visited India in 2006, as Guest of honour during Republican Day.

There was signing of the Delhi Declaration and later reciprocal visit of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in 2010 where Riyadh Declaration was signed. Today, India and Saudi Arabia have strategic partnership focusing on political, economic, security and defense areas comprehensively. However, it would be a next to impossible that, India would ever act as a guarantor to the Saudi security in the event of any misadventure over the Kingdom.

This is evident from Indian response towards Iran, once the Islamic Republic was imposed with sanctions, starting from 2005. Despite its commitments with Iran, India voted in the favoureof US led sanctions against Iran while being a non permanent member of UNSC.

For India, its national interests remain supreme, despite its pacts and agreements. Today, India has lot of interests in Middle, particularly Gulf and Saudi Arabia is the key country in GCC or overall in the Middle Eastern politics. Over 23% oil imports of the India come from Saudi Arabia and there are 2.8 million Indian working in various fields in entire Kingdom. Indian has multiple interests in Saudi Arabia and other GCC countries.

These interests and Indian ambitions of playing the role of major power in the international politics have made India to persuade its strategic and economic goals in the region. There is no doubt that, these Indian overtures are at the cost of Pakistan, the Dubai speech of NarindraModi was reflective of India future strategy against Pakistan from the capital of a very close ally of Pakistan.

There is an immediate need that, Pakistan should re-asses itsrelationship with GCC countries and slab the space, India is trying to enter through.

A pre-emptive diplomacy and strong political engagements in Gulf region by the Government is the need of hour. The delicacy of the relationship and urgency of new developments need immediate response and a careful handling of the issue through acumen, rather through political favorites.