Strengthening Bonds: Saudi-Pakistan Alliance – OpEd


Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have a long-standing friendship based on historical connections, religious affiliations, economic collaborations, cultural ties and military ties. The recent visit of Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud to Pakistan highlights the importance of this relationship, especially in terms of economic integration and regional stability. 

The partnership is extremely important, both countries share Islamic principles, which serve as the cornerstone for their robust bilateral relations. Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally of Pakistan, providing consistent economic support in times of need. This assistance has been critical to Pakistan’s economic stability and progress, demonstrating the significance of the partnership for Pakistan’s prosperity. Investments by Saudi Arabia in Pakistan’s economy and infrastructure boost Pakistan, while also aligning with Saudi Arabia’s overall aim to strengthen its position in the region. 

Economic cooperation is a crucial pillar in the Saudi-Pakistani relationship. Saudi Arabia has been a consistent supporter of Pakistan’s economy, offering critical financial help in times of need. The Kingdom’s investment in Pakistan’s mining industry, which includes the establishment of an oil refinery in Gwadar and the Reko Diq Copper and Gold Mining Project, demonstrates its commitment to strengthening economic connections. 

Furthermore, almost 2.5 million Pakistani expatriates live in Saudi Arabia, and their remittances contribute more than $10 billion to the Pakistani economy each year. These remittances not only help to stabilise Pakistan’s foreign reserves, but also provide for the livelihoods of millions of Pakistani households. 

The arrival of the Saudi Foreign Minister solidifies the strategic alliance between the two countries. Prince Faisal’s statement of Saudi Arabia’s commitment to increasing investment in Pakistan demonstrated the depth of bilateral collaboration. The establishment of Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which aims to attract foreign investment and overcome bureaucratic barriers, reflects a proactive attitude to economic reform and increasing connections with countries like Saudi Arabia. During the discussions, both sides considered ways to expand their existing amicable cooperation further. This reinforced collaboration will concentrate on increasing investment in Pakistan, that remains critical to its economic growth and development. The Saudi Foreign Minister’s support of the SIFC’s measures reflects Saudi Arabia’s appreciation for Pakistan’s efforts to establish a favorable climate for foreign investment. This does highlight that SIFC is proving to be one of the most stable economic platforms in the region and has the capacity to boost economic collaboration and integration among regional players for a longer period. 

The visit also underlines Pakistan’s vital position in the region. As a significant player in South Asia, Pakistan’s strategic location and economic potential makes it an appealing partner for countries looking to strengthen their regional footprint. Saudi Arabia’s desire to strengthen ties with Pakistan demonstrates the country’s growing international relevance. 

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s cordial welcome to the Saudi delegation demonstrates Pakistan’s commitment to strengthening trade and investment partnerships. The options offered during the summit, such as airport privatisation and joint ventures in the hospitality sector, demonstrate Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s broad prospects for collaboration. 

In addition to economic cooperation, the visit discussed current regional developments and the humanitarian situation in Gaza. Both countries demanded an immediate ceasefire and a stop to Israeli abuses in Gaza, emphasising their shared commitment to international peace and security. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have mutual geopolitical objectives in the area. Both countries have a vested interest in supporting peace, especially given recent developments in the Middle East and South Asia. The conversations between the Saudi Foreign Minister and Pakistani officials also centered on improving security and strategic collaboration. 

As both nations increase their economic cooperation, solve regional concerns, and promote peace and stability, the future of Saudi-Pakistan relations seems to be promising. With shared Islamic principles as a foundation, their engagement extends beyond bilateral interests, benefiting the prosperity and well-being of their communities and the entire region. This visit reinforces Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s commitment to deepening bilateral relations and emphasizes the importance of cultivating and developing such alliances in an increasingly interconnected world.

Sehr Rushmeen

Sehr Rushmeen is an Islamabad based freelance researcher, with areas of research interest in Strategic Nuclear Studies and Warfare.

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