Sunday, January 12, 2020

Are Pakistani Leaders Slaves of Arab Royals?

Are Pakistani leaders slaves of Arab Royals? Or simply doing what is in Pakistan's best interest?

Prime Minister Imran Khan Driving Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in Islamabad

Why did Imran Khan not attend the Kuala Lumpur Islamic Summit that was organized by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad and attended by Turkish President Erdogan and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani? Why did he yield to Saudi pressure to skip it?

What are Pakistan's key economic and security interests in Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC)? Is labor Pakistan's biggest export earning over $20 billion a year? What is the biggest export market for Pakistan's labor? What would happen if Pakistan joined Malaysia and Turkey in creating a new Muslim bloc competing with the Arab-led Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC)? Will OIC try to live up to Pakistan's expectation of a tougher stance against India's Modi vis a vis Indian Occupied Kashmir and Indian Muslims?

Who makes Pakistan's foreign and security policies? How influential is Pakistani military in making these policies? Is Imran Khan free to pursue whatever policies he personally prefers? Would any other Prime Minister have pursued a different policy with GCC nations?

ALKS host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with Sabahat Ashraf (ifaqeer) and Riaz Haq (

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Riaz Haq said...

Hakkı Öcal: You have us (Turks), Pakistan. While Pakistan has been brutally orphaned by its would-be brothers in OIC, Erdoğan pledges Turkey's best wishes to Pakistan and a desire to always keep the country in its hearts. #Pakistan #Turkey #Arabs #Kashmir

The Saudis have taken over the term-presidency of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) from Turkey and rejected the Pakistani request discussed at the senior officials meeting yesterday in Jeddah. It is clear that Saudi Arabia will not bring the issue of Kashmir to the Council of Foreign Ministers. This is not happening for the first time and thus Khan voiced the Pakistani people's frustration over the OIC's silence on Kashmir during his visit to Malaysia.

Furthermore, this given that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates bestowed a great gift on India last year by having invited the country to the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers meeting. India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addressed the session in Abu Dhabi as a "guest of honor" of the OIC host country, the UAE.

It was a major diplomatic coup for India and a thank you message on behalf of Muslims in India after all the suffering it had been causing in Kashmir all those years. Instead, the ummah should have sent a clear message to India about its termination of legal agreements and its own laws that guarantee basic human rights to the Kashmir people. As soon as India accused human rights activists in Kashmir of Islamic radicalism, however, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed, crown prince of Abu Dhabi and patron-saint of anti-Islamism the world over, became the beloved ally of Modi, a man accused of racist practices in his own country. For him and his hand-picked Saudi counterpart, Mohammed bin Salman, the result came in the form of snubbing Pakistan and not allowing IOC ministers to discuss the situation in Kashmir, which has been under a security crackdown and information blockade since August last year. More than 12 million Muslims have been cut off from the rest of the world as the internet has been suspended since. Thousands of people have been detained and blinded by Indian troops' infamous pellet guns.

This is the background for Erdogan's Pakistan visit and so Prime Minister Khan and other Pakistani leaders are more than happy to see him in Islamabad.

Riaz Haq said...

Israeli Opinion in JPost: #Turkey, #Pakistan, #Malaysia and #Qatar form "troubling" new alliance. It reflects a power shift in the #Islamic world away from the #Arabs. Its enemies, are #India, #Israel and (at the rhetorical level) the #Christian #West.

THE DISPUTE around Naik casts light on the currently burgeoning relations between three significant Muslim countries – Turkey, Pakistan and Malaysia. This emergent alliance is a reflection of a shift in power in the Islamic world away from its traditional Arab center.
Ankara, Islamabad and Kuala Lumpur, with Qatar as an additional partner, today constitute an emergent power nexus, built around a common orientation toward a conservative, Sunni political Islam. This nexus is united as much by common enmities as by common affections. Its enemies, are India, Israel and (at the rhetorical level) the Christian West.
Its rivals within the diplomacy of the Islamic world, meanwhile, are Saudi Arabia, which has traditionally dominated the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the main pan-Islamic diplomatic body, and the UAE.
The crystallization of this new alliance has been apparent for some time. In late September 2019, Erdogan, Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met at the sidelines of the 74th United Nations General Assembly in New York. The three agreed at that meeting to establish an English-language TV channel to combat ‘Islamophobia’ in the West.
Mahathir then sought to convene a summit in Kuala Lumpur, in December 2019, to identify, according to a press release announcing the summit, “what has gone wrong – with a view to eventually reclaiming the Muslim world’s fame and glory of yore.” Briefing the media in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on the summit, Mahathir suggested that “maybe, it can be regarded as the first step towards rebuilding the great Muslim civilization.”
The countries invited to the Kuala Lumpur summit were Turkey, Pakistan, Qatar and Indonesia. Mahathir described the invited countries as “a few people who have the same perception of Islam and the problems faced by Muslims.”
Subsequent Saudi pressure on Pakistan prevented its attendance at the KL summit. The joint diplomatic activities of the countries invited, however, have continued apace. So far, these efforts have largely been directed at India, with the focus on the issue of the disputed territory of Kashmir.
Kashmir appears to be a matter of particular interest to the Turkish president, in his effort to cast himself as a pan-Islamic leader, and in his desire to draw closer to Pakistan.
Turkey held an international conference on the subject on November 21, 2019. A Pakistani senator, Sherry Rehmen, participated in this gathering. During Erdogan’s visit to Pakistan in early 2020, the Turkish president mentioned Kashmir six times during a 25-minute speech to a joint session of the Pakistani parliament.
Erdogan likened Kashmir to the Turkish struggle for Gallipoli against the British and French in World War I. “It was Canakkale yesterday, and it is Kashmir today. There is no difference,” he asserted, in remarks that led India to issue a formal démarche to the Turkish ambassador in New Delhi, against interference in its internal affairs.
Malaysia also adopted a new and vociferously critical tone on the issue. Mahathir, shortly before his resignation in late 2019, said that India had “invaded and occupied” Kashmir and was “taking action to deprive some Muslims of their citizenship.”
It is worth noting that by contrast to this diplomatic activism, Saudi Arabia and the UAE maintain that Kashmir remains an internal Indian matter.
This reflects the growing closeness between Riyadh and New Delhi, expressed also in the major investments in India announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to India in 2019.

Riaz Haq said...

#Iran sourced #fakenews at work to strain #Saudi-#Pakistan bilateral ties. Dawn Newspaper's Tanveer Arain fooled by "Saudi Defense Minister calls #Pakistani "slaves" story.

It is no news that all is not well in the Arab world. In the latest, it has been reported that Pakistan has offered to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Iran, in order to avoid strained relationships with both countries.

The spread of fake news, however, is a ready-made recipe for straining bilateral relationships.

Tanveer Arain, journalist and political analyst with some of the leading publications in Pakistan, including The Dawn, took to Twitter to draw attention to a letter, allegedly written by Saudi Arabian Defence Minister Muhammad Bin Suleiman.

The letter allegedly quotes the defence minister calling Pakistan a “slave country” and that “it will remain Saudi Arabia’s slave” country.

Tanveer’s tweet was retweeted 679 times, and was liked 605 times by Twitter users. His tweet also prompted to swiftly pick up story.

The story was shared 33,000 times on Facebook, from the Postcard portal. The story elaborately describes how Saudi considers other Muslim countries to be of ‘converted’ status. The story reads:

Muhammad Bin Suleiman believes that Pakistanis are the slaves of the Arabs. This statement proves that Saudis looks at every other Muslim country with the ‘converted-Muslim’ perspective. Muslims from India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh are called ‘Hindu-Muslims’ in Saudi.
The story was also picked by Defence Tube, a YouTube channel which has 7,800-odd subscribers and by a Facebook page on Indian Defence, where it was widely shared.

What The Letter Actually Says
Senior journalist Abbas Nasir, who was a former editor of The Dawn and has also been associated with BBC, was quick to raise that a Tehran dateline was dodgy for a story related to Saudi.

Mustaqbil Pakistan party leader Nadeem M Qureshi also responded to Taveer’s tweet about the letter being “fake news”.