What is happening to the diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan?


Team Udayavani, Aug 20, 2020, 10:25 AM IST

Pakistan’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is now in trouble and Pakistan’s Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa is on a visit to Saudi Arabia in a bid to straighten out diplomatic relations between the two countries

However, on Monday, Bajwa’s request for a meeting with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was declined and he met Saudi Vice Minister of Defence Khalid bin Salman.

According to the report of The Interpreter, the differences between the two countries emerged after Saudi Arabia sided with India in recent tensions over Kashmir. Also, Pakistan is tilting towards Turkey and Malaysia, which have emerged as new leaders in the Muslim world and strongly support Pakistan’s stand on Kashmir, while condemning India’s treatment of the Kashmiri people.

Saudi Arabia gave Pakistan a $3bn loan and $3.2bn oil credit facility to help its balance of payments crisis in late 2018. Pakistan’s demands for Saudi Arabia to support it against India over Kashmir led to Saudi Arabia forcing Pakistan to pay back $1bn early

Saudi-Pakistan relations further deteriorated when Saudi Arabia turned down Pakistan’s request to convene a special meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to discuss Kashmir.

Also, Under Saudi pressure, Pakistan pulled out of an international summit of Muslim leaders held in Malaysia. The summit was hosted by Malaysia’s then prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in Kuala Lumpur to discuss current issues in the Muslim world

It is said that Saudi Arabia had threatened to send back four million Pakistanis working in Saudi Arabia and also to withdraw $3 billion from Pakistan’s central bank.

Saudi Arabia is also demanding repayment of another $1bn of the loan and has not responded to Pakistani requests to extend the oil facility

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