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INTRODUCTION

The bilateral relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia are historically close and extremely friendly, occasionally described as
constituting a special relationship.
As two of the world's leading Islamic states as well as the power brokers in the Muslim
world, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have sought to develop extensive commercial,
cultural, religious, political, and strategic relations since the establishment of Pakistan in
1947. Even today, the relationships with the Saudi Arabia represents the most
"important and bilateral partnership" in the current foreign policy of Pakistan, working
and seeking to develop closer bilateral ties with Saudi Arabia, the largest country on
the Arabian peninsula and host to the two holiest cities of Islam, Mecca and Medina and
the destination of Muslim pilgrims from across the world.
According to a Pew Research Center survey, Pakistanis hold the
most favorable perception of the desert kingdom, with 95 percent
viewing Saudi Arabia favorably and none expressing a negative
view. With one of the largest armies in the world and as the only
declared nuclear power among the Muslim states, Pakistan has
maintained a unique position to assist Saudi Arabia with its
defense needs. The BBC claimed in 2013 that Saudi Arabia has
invested in Pakistans nuclear weapons projects. Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia
denied the report. The kingdom has often tried to woo Pakistan by giving it gifts and
loans, for example in 2014 it gifted Pakistan 200 tonnes of dates.
Pakistans current Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif enjoys exceptionally close ties with
senior members of the Saudi royal family. When Sharif was toppled in the
bloodless 1999 Pakistani coup d'tat, Saudi Arabia intervened; and military chief Pervez
Musharraf allowed Sharif and his family to travel into exile
in Saudi Arabia. On 2 April 2014, Pakistan Today reported
that Pakistan will sell JF-17 Thunder jets to Saudi Arabia,
after the kingdom had given a grant of $1.5 billion to
Pakistan in early 2014.On January 8, 2014, Al-
Monitor reported that the partnership with Pakistan satisfies
the Saudi historic quest for a close non-Arab ally to
maintain its hegemony in the Arab world and deal with its own internal security
challenges. Saudi Arabia is often seen offering its economic resources and the promise
of investment in return for military and security cooperation from Pakistan.


Development of bilateral relations

Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are leading members of the Organization of Islamic
Cooperation (OIC). Saudi Arabia was one of the strongest supporters of Pakistan during
Pakistan's wars with India, especially opposing the creation of Bangladesh from
Pakistan's eastern wing in 1971.
While it had supported Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir conflict, it has since endorsed
the Indo-Pakistani peace process. With Pakistan, it provided extensive financial and
political support to the Taliban and the Afghan mujahedeen fighting the Soviet invasion
of Afghanistan in the 1980s. During the 1990-1991 Persian Gulf War, Pakistan sent
troops to protect the Islamic holy sites in Saudi Arabia, but strains developed when
some Pakistani politicians and Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg, the then-chief of staff of
the Pakistani army openly expressed support for Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and
its invasion of Kuwait. Along with the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
were the only states to recognize Taliban rule in Afghanistan. In May 1998, Saudi
Arabia was the only country that was taken in complete confidence by Prime
Minister Nawaz Sharif on Pakistan's decision on performing atomic
test in Weapon-testing laboratories-III (WTL-III) in the region of the Chagai
Hills. After the ordered the atomic tests (see codenames: Chagai-
I and Chagai-II), Saudi Arabia, along with United Arab Emirates, were the
only countries to backed Pakistan and congratulated the country for making
the "bold decision". Furthermore, Saudi Arabia promised to supply 50,000 barrels per
day of free oil to help Pakistan cope with likely economic sanctions in the aftermath

Saudi-Pakistan Relations Threat to India:
On February 26, India and Saudi Arabia signed an agreement to strengthen co-
operation in military training, logistics supplies and exchange of defense-related
information. However, it is Saudi Arabias deepening role in propping up the Pakistani
jihadist military state on Indias border that is creating a long-term security threat to
India.While a strong Saudi-Pakistan defence partnership has existed for long, the
upswing in the relationship marks a qualitative change, with Riyadh motivated by an
urge to overthrow the Shia regime in Syria and counter a nuclear-capable Iran.
There are two immediate reasons behind the growing Saudi insecurity, resulting in
Saudi Arabias move to transform itself as a regional military power. One, Riyadh is
deeply dismayed by the US failure to play a consequential role in the Syria uprising to
overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. Two, the current White Houses policy of
rapprochement with Iran is causing anxiety among the Saudis and other Sunni states.
The Saudi insecurity became severe after the Geneva 5+1 pact with Iran, which is
aimed at curtailing the Iranian nuclear programme but in effect is rewriting the balance
of power in the Middle East.
Consequently, Pakistan has emerged as central to the Saudi strategy, as Riyadh aids
the opposition fighters in Syria. Recently, Pakistan army chief General Raheel Sharif
travelled to Saudi Arabia, while Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal and defence
minister Salman bin Abdulaziz visited Pakistan. From Pakistani media reports, it
emerges that Riyadh is seeking Pakistani military arsenal for use in Syria. According to
Roznama Ummat of February 7, Riyadh asked for two divisions of Pakistan army
about 30,000 soldiers and 16,000 support staffto train Saudi troops. The Saudis are
also seeking Chinese-built JF-17 Thunder fighter planes. Media reports emerging from
Riyadh reveal that Pakistan was asked to provide anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets for
use in Syria. Also, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are planning a major military exercise this
year.
And although Islamabad has denied that it will provide nuclear technology to Riyadh,
such a Pakistani claim is not reliable because: one, the emerging Saudi strategy seems
to be aimed at countering Irans nuclear programme; two, it was reported last year that
Saudi Arabia has invested in the Pakistani nuclear programme; three, in recent
decades, Pakistan has been transformed into a client state for the Saudis, rendering
Islamabad incapable of denying a Saudi request for Pakistani nuclear weapons and
technology. On March 7, Pakistani foreign office spokesperson Tasneem Aslam
admitted that the Pakistan-Saudi co-operation involves the possibility of defence
production. On the night of March 4, Aftab A Khokher, the consul general of Pakistan in
Jeddah, was chief guest at an event on the Pakistan Navy ship PNS Alamgir, where he
noted that the Pakistan-Saudi relations are beyond any limits.
Liberal Pakistani commentators are worried over the likely Saudi use of Pakistani
weapons in Syria. First, it could push Iran to respond in kind in Pakistan. There is a
precedent: during the 1980s jihad in Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia propped up jihadi
groups and fundamentalist Sunni madarsahs, which are the sole reason for the Shia
genocide now unfolding in Pakistan. As the Saudis armed the Sunni militant groups,
Iran backed Shia groups in Pakistan. Second, Pakistani Taliban militants are now
present in Syria, fighting to overthrow the al-Assad regime. These militants will someday
return to Pakistan, further drowning the country into jihadism. Even now Pakistani
writers think that the ground in Pakistan is already paved for Islamic sharia rule. Third,
the current peace negotiations between the Pakistani government and Tehreek-e-
Taliban Pakistan are being seen as enjoying the support of the Saudi leadership. The
strengthening of the Taliban and the militants returning from Syria will transform the
jihadi landscape in Pakistan in coming years. At the minimum, the current Pakistani
talks with the Taliban will offer a permanent sanctuary to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
fighters in Waziristan as part of any peace deal.
Pakistan has approved the Saudi line on Syria. At the end of Salman Abdulazizs visit to
Islamabad, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia issued a joint statement on February 17 in which
Pakistan underlined the need to overthrow the Shia regime in Damascus. As per the
statement, Riyadh and Islamabad called for the formation of a transitional governing
body with full executive powers enabling it to take charge of the affairs in Syria.Worried
over these developments, several Pakistani writers warned Islamabad against getting
embroiled in Syria. Columnist Mosharraf Zaidi accused the Nawaz Sharif government of
bartering Pakistans sovereignty for money by aligning with Riyadhs interventionist
policy on Syria. Journalist Nadir Hassan warned against Pakistans entanglement in
Syria, saying it will alienate Shia Muslims in Pakistan. Senior commentator Ayaz Amir
blamed Pakistans Syria entanglement on two factors: one, Nawaz Sharifs incapability
to say no to Riyadh; two, Pakistans need for cash. Columnist Nazeer Naji advised
Pakistan to save itself from the Syrian conflict, warning that its flames will engulf several
countries in the region including Iran, bringing the fire to Pakistans border.
The Saudi-Pakistan partnership is certain to boost the jihadist organisations and the
Pakistani intelligence agencies which are nurturing them, thereby transforming Pakistan
into a complete jihadist military state in the near future. Indian diplomacy aims at
boosting co-operation with Arab regimes, based on the argument that the interests of
about seven million Indians working in the Middle East must be defended. India used
this argument in 2003 when it rejected a US request to send troops for the Iraq war.
However, India must also remember that the Saudis strengthening of Pakistani jihadist
state could mean the following: it will threaten India in the long term; it will destabilise
Afghanistan which has been gaining a sense of stability; it will birth more jihadist
organisations in Pakistan, which are bound to affect a large Muslim population in India,
thereby threatening the cohesion of India; it will cause Sunni-Shia conflicts across South
Asia. Hopelessly, India cannot even get the Saudis to moderate their conduct to curb
jihadism on Indias borders.




Military cooperation
Pakistan maintains close military ties with Saudi Arabia, providing extensive support,
arms and training for the Saudi Arabian military. Fighter Pilots of the Pakistan Air
Force flew aircraft of the Royal Saudi Air Force to
repel an incursion from South Yemen in 1969. In
the 1970s and 1980s, approximately ~15,000
Pakistani soldiers were stationed in the
kingdom. Saudi Arabia has negotiated the
purchase of Pakistani ballistic missiles capable of
carrying nuclear warheads. It is also speculated
that Saudi Arabia secretly funded Pakistan's atomic bomb programme and seeks to
purchase atomic weapons from Pakistan to enable it to counteract possible threats from
arsenals of the weapons of mass destruction possessed by Iran, Iraq and Israel. Both
nations have received high-level delegations of scientists, government and Saudi
military experts of seeking to study the development of a Saudi nuclear programme.
According to Bruno Tertrais, a researcher for the EU Non-Proliferation Consortium,
during informal discussions held in 2005 a former Pakistan National Command
Authority officials have said that deploying Pakistan nuclear warheads in Saudi Arabia
would be "worse than the Cuban missile crisis." Tertrais concludes that there is no hard
evidence in the public domain of any nuclear cooperation between the two countries.

Stronger Saudi-Pakistan Military Ties:
Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, who is Saudi Arabias deputy prime minister and
defense minister has just concluded an official visit to Pakistan. Some defense experts
say that Saudi Arabias close military ties with Pakistan, though not new, now have a
new dimension - namely countering the threat of a nuclear-capable Iran.Some security
experts fear that one of the unintended consequences of international efforts to reach a
nuclear deal with Iran could be to put its Gulf rival Saudi Arabia on a fast track to boost
its own military capability in an unprecedented way. Ali Sherazi is Pakistans former
ambassador to Saudi Arabia, and speaking to VOAs Deewa Radio he says Riyadh may
fear a nuclear deal could end economic sanctions on Iran, enabling it to secretly pursue
its ambitions.Iran is seeking to be a nuclear power and Saudi Arabia as a regional
power, cannot ignore this, he said.With one of the largest armies in the world and the
only declared nuclear power among the Muslim states, Pakistan is in a unique position
to assist Saudi Arabia with its defense needs. Sarfraz Khan, the chairman of the Area
Study Center at the University of Peshawar, says Iran and Saudi Arabia have conflicting
interests in the region and Pakistan can strengthen the Saudi position. To counter
Irans influence, Saudi Arabia has often looked towards Pakistans help, he told Deewa
Radio. Last year, the BBC reported that Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistans nuclear
weapons projects. Both Pakistan and Saudi Arabia denied the report.But there is no
denying that the military cooperation between the two countries is strong and getting
stronger. The joint statement issued Monday at the end of Crown Prince Salman bin
Abdulaziz visit says The two sides also agreed on the need to enhance bilateral
cooperation in the field of defense.This cooperation comes in many forms, including
training of Saudi pilots by the Pakistan Air Force and the deployment of Pakistani troops
to Saudi Arabia to provide security. Nauman Wazir, a defense analyst and former air
commodore of Pakistan's Air Force, says now Pakistan may sell JF-17 Thunder combat
jets and trainer aircraft to Saudi Arabia. For Saudi Arabia, there is no better aircraft
than the JF-17 as a trainer and as a fighter plane. It has the capability to support the
troops on the ground, Wazir told Deewa. But the two countries' joint statement does not
specify if the Saudis are interested in buying jets from Pakistan.Ali Sherazi also says
say Iran is not the only reason Saudi Arabia wants close military ties with Islamabad.
They say Pakistan can also help the oil-rich kingdom combat the threat from al-Qaida
and border incursions from neighboring Yemen. Al-Qaida is also seen as a threat in
Saudi Arabia. On top of that the regional situation like the infiltration from Yemen is a
factor and that makes the Saudi threat perception multi-dimensional, Sherazi
said.Pakistan has its own disputes with Tehran largely focused on the tense border
between Iran and Pakistans Balochistan province. Five Iranian border guards were
seized recently by militants and taken across the border into Balochistan, prompting
Iran to warn that it might send forces across the border to free them. Pakistan
expressed serious concern over the remarks and tense ties with Iran are likely to push
Islamabad and Riyadh closer together say analysts.Pakistans Prime Minister Nawaz
Sharif also enjoys exceptionally close ties with senior members of the Saudi royal
family. When Sharif was toppled in a bloodless military coup in 1999, Saudi Arabia
intervened and military chief, Pervez Musharraf allowed Sharif and his family to travel
into exile in Saudi Arabia. Mehmood Shah, a former Pakistani army brigadier and
senior official in Pakistans intelligence agency, the ISI says those close ties will only
strengthen ties between Islamabad and Riyadh.During former President Zardaris
tenure relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia were not really warm but as we know
that PM Sharif has good relations with the Saudi ruling family and that further
strengthens the bilateral ties, Shah told Deewa.
Saudi Arabia Seeks Pakistani Weapons:
Saudi Arabia is reportedly in talks with its ally Pakistan to provide weapons to the Syrian
opposition against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. At the same time, it is
deepening defense relations with Pakistans nemesis, India.The AFP news agency
reported on Sunday that the Saudis were seeking antiaircraft and antitank weapons
from Pakistan weapons the United States, Saudi Arabias ally, has refused to deliver
to Syrian opposition fighters, fearing they might end up in the hands of Islamic
extremists.Saudi Arabia has been increasingly apprehensive about American policy in
the Middle East. It was disappointed when President Barack Obama did not follow up
on his threat to use military force against the Assad regime after it had allegedly
deployed chemical weapons against civilians and rebels. It also regards warily
American overtures to Iran, its rival for hegemony in the region.The Saudi request for
Pakistani weapons which was not confirmed by authorities in either state comes
as Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the defense minister and heir presumptive to
the Saudi throne, visited New Delhi to sign a memorandum of understanding on future
defense cooperation. The pact would allow for the sharing of defense information,
military training and cooperation in logistics and security.Commercial relations between
India and Saudi Arabia are also expanding. The total trade volume between the two
countries has doubled in the last four years, to nearly $44 billion in 2012-2013, when
Pakistani-Saudi trade did not exceed $5 billion. Saudi Arabia is Indias fourth largest
trading partner and main provider of oil while it has had to reduce sales from Iran as a
result of international sanctions. Some two million Indian workers are employed in the
Arab kingdom.The Pakistanis, whose economy is expected to grow just 2.3 percent this
year, may be uncomfortable with this burgeoning Indo-Saudi relationship but are
unlikely to lose an ally. The Saudis backed them during their wars with India and
opposed the secession of East Pakistan which nevertheless became Bangladesh in
1971. They also collaborated with Pakistan and the United States in supporting the
Afghan mujahideen in their resistance to the Soviet occupation in the 1980s when Saudi
Arabia financed Pakistans military modernization.The less secure alliance is the one
between Saudi Arabia and the United States. Even if the former has little choice but to
remain an American client state, given how dependent it is on American military aid and
equipment, it is seeking help elsewhere to wage its proxy war in Syria against Irans
ally, Assad.


Pak-Saudi defense agreed cooperation:
The two leaders decided to further enhance their existing cooperation in various fields
and it will be shaped in the bilateral talks to take place today(Monday). In the meanwhile
Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz had meeting with
Minister for Defence Khawaja Mohammad Asif at the Punjab House and discussed
cooperation in the field of defence and training of military personnel.During the meeting,
Minister for Defence Khawaja Mohammad Asif warmly greeted the distinguished guest
and said that the visit is highly significant, adding, We thank Excellency for undertaking
this most important visit at the most important time. Both the sides discussed matters of
mutual cooperation in the field of defence. They showed keen interest in extending
cooperation in the field of defence and matters of defence trainings, and cooperation in
the field of education was broadly discussed. The two sides also agreed to exchange of
military personnel for training and joint venture in defence production.Saudi Arabia
greatly appreciated the capacity of Pakistan defence industry and cooperation in the
field of defence production also came under discussion. Khawaja Asif reiterated that
Saudi Arabia held great importance for all Muslims across the world and said it is the
first visit of Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz after assuming the charge of defence
minister. He expressed hope that the visit would further enhance ties and give boost to
relations.The minister reiterated that both the countries could be self sufficient in
defence equipment production besides exporting them to international market. Speaker
National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq also called on Saudi Crown Prince and Defence
Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and exchanged views on matters of
mutual interest and ways of strengthening relations. Referring to the immemorial
brotherly ties with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, the Speaker said that both the countries
are intertwined in religious and cultural bonds which have gained strength due to the
commitment of ruling hierarchies on both sides.He said that Pakistan greatly values
Saudi support during natural calamities and crisis. The Speaker expressed his desire to
further intensify cooperation between the two sides.The Minister of State of the
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Foreign Affairs Dr Nizar Bin Obaid Madani called on the
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi at the
Foreign Office. They discussed bilateral, regional and international matters of mutual
interest. The meeting was held in a very cordial and friendly atmosphere. The Special
Assistant to the Prime Minister while welcoming the Saudi Minister of State stated that
the Government of Pakistan accorded high priority to its relations with the Kingdom of
Saudi Arabia. He underscored that prime minister of Pakistan was desirous of taking the
bilateral relations to new heights. Referring to the existing close and fraternal relations,
the special assistant remarked that the destinies of the two countries were interlinked
and the relations were marked by mutual trust and understanding. He emphasized the
need to initiate a new era of strategic relationship between the two brotherly countries
and also to further enhance bilateral ties in diverse areas, particularly in economic, trade
and investment sectors, to impart greater substance to the existing cordial relations.
The Saudi minister of state for foreign affairs stated that the fact that the Crown Prince
had chosen Pakistan as the first country for his Asian visit is symbolic of the importance
Saudi Arabia attached to its relations with Pakistan. Recalling the recent high level visits
to Pakistan by senior members of the Saudi leadership, including foreign minister,
deputy defence minister and chairman Saudi Tourism and Antiquities, Dr Madani
expressed satisfaction that the relations were moving in the right direction.He
emphasised that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were linked with bonds of brotherhood
rooted in common culture and faith of Islam. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was desirous
of enhancing ties with Pakistan in diverse areas and informed that during the visit, the
Crown Prince would be exchanging views with the Pakistani leadership on the whole
range of bilateral and international issues of mutual interest. The two countries shared a
common vision and challenges which needed to be addressed together.The diplomatic
sources have pointed out that Saudi Crown Prince and defence minister will discuss the
political situation prevailing in South Asia with the Indian leaders and likely to help for
improvement of ties between Pakistan and India when he will be paying an official visit
to India towards the end of this month.

The Crown Prince who had informal chat with host Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Sunday
evening at the banquet hosted by Saudi ambassador to Pakistan Dr Abdul Aziz Ibrahim
Saleh Al-Ghadeer at picturesque Punjab House would be having formal talks with the
prime minister today (Monday). He will be briefed about the regional situation including
the developments pertaining to Afghanistan and relations with India with particular
reference to Kashmir situation besides other subjects. Saudi Arabia is keen for stability
of the region and deeply interested in normalization of ties between Pakistan and India.
The Crown Prince would discuss the subject here and in New Delhi with the host
leadership. Highly placed diplomatic sources told The News Sunday evening that
rapidly growing ties between Saudi Kingdom and India would become instrumental for
an effective role by Riyadh to bridge differences between Islamabad and New Delhi.
Saudi Arabia believes that strained ties between Pakistan and India could be a hurdle
for its expanding relationship with both the neighbouring countries.

Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz will undertake his second visit to India after
becoming the Crown Prince in June 2012. India and Saudi Arabia are also expected to
sign a Memorandum of Understanding on defence, which envisages exchange of
defence-related information, and training and cooperation in areas varying from
hydrocarbons and security to its logistics. When Defence Minister A.K Antony visited
Saudi Arabia in 2012, it was agreed by both sides to step up cooperation in the defence
field. A joint panel was then constituted to prepare a draft pact. The two countries are
also eager to work together in curbing money laundering and drug trafficking. Indo-
Saudi bilateral trade exceeded $43.19 billion in 2012-13. There are more than 2.5
million Indian expatriates in Saudi Arabia who contribute immensely to the socio-
economic development of the oil-rich kingdom.

INP adds: The Crown Prince and Defence Minister Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud has
said that Saudi Arabia will extend all-out support to Pakistan in diverse fields and would
always stand by its Pakistani brethren whenever needed.The Crown Prince was talking
to the Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq who called on the visiting
dignitary here on Sunday.

The Crown Prince termed relations between the two countries as historic and unique.
He said that Pakistan is the closest friend and ally to the Kingdom. He said that existing
relations would be strengthened in days to come and cooperation between Saudi Arabia
and Pakistan would be further diversified for mutual benefit of both the nations. He said
that Saudi Arabia strongly desires to see a prosperous, stable and economically vibrant
Pakistan.


Saudi Arabia gives Pakistan 'gift' for Syria
support:
Saudi Arabia has paid Pakistan $1.5bn to ensure the country will not sell arms to Syria,
an adviser to Pakistani Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has revealed.
Adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz told the Pakistani Senates
Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday that Pakistan had accepted the Saudi gift on the
condition it not send arms to any country in civil war, particularly Syria, English
newspaper Daily Timesreported. Senior officials at the Pakistani finance ministry and
central bank had said last week that the money was to boost the countrys falling foreign
currency reserves and help cement security ties between the two countries.In February
a senior Pakistani intelligence official told the Financial Times that Saudi Arabia was
seeking a large number of [Pakistan] troops to support its campaign along the Yemeni
border and for internal security.The official also said the $1.5bn agreement, reached
during a visit by Saudi Prince Salman last month, involved Pakistans support for
establishing a transitional governing body in Syria. Islamabad had previously remained
neutral in the Syrian crisis.Aziz told the Senate the $1.5bn was gifted money.The
Senate committee was unsatisfied with the advisers explanation and also called for
maintaining relations with Iran, a traditional foe of Saudi Arabia, saying ties with one
should not be at the cost of the other. Pakistan has traditionally had a balanced
relationship with both the Sunni majority Saudi Arabia and the Shia majority Iran.
Saudi Arabia is staunchly opposed to Syrian President Bashar Al Assad and is believed
to be funding some opposition groups.Earlier this month the kingdom withdrew its
ambassador to Qatar a fellow Gulf Cooperation Council member for reasons
including differing views on Syria, with the countries backing different opposition groups.

Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to launch joint defence
ventures:
Crown prince who arrived on three-day visit on Saturday met a number of senior
government functionaries including Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif and
Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.Saudi Crown Prince called on Minister
for Defence Khawaja Muhammad Asif here at the Punjab House and discussed
cooperation in the field of defence and training of military personnel.During the meeting,
the Minister for Defence warmly greeted the distinguished guest and said that the visit
of the Crown Prince is highly significant, adding, We thank Excellency for undertaking
this most important visit at the most important time. Both the sides discussed matters of
mutual cooperation in the field of defence and showed keen interest in extending
cooperation in the field of defence and matters of defence trainings and cooperation in
the field of education was broadly discussed.Saudi Arabia greatly appreciated the
capacity of Pakistan defence industry and cooperation in the field of defence production
also came under discussion.Khawaja Asif reiterated that Saudi Arabia held great
importance for all Muslims across the world and added this was the first visit of Prince
Salman Bin Abdul Aziz after assuming the charge of Defence Minister.
The Defence Minister hoped that the visit would further enhance ties and give boost to
relations.Pakistan and Saudi Arabia agreed to exchange of military personnel for
training and joint venture in defence production. The Minister reiterated that both the
countries could be self-sufficient in defence equipment production for both the countries
besides exporting to international market.Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz
Sadiq also called on Saudi Crown Prince and Defence Minister Prince Salman bin
Abdul Aziz Al Saud here on Sunday and exchanged views on matters of mutual interest
and ways of strengthening relations.Referring to the brotherly ties with Pakistan and
Saudi Arabia, the Speaker said that both the countries were intertwined in religious and
cultural bonds which have gained strength due to the commitment of ruling hierarchies
on both sides. He said that Pakistan greatly values Saudi Arabian support during natural
calamities and crisis. The Speaker expressed his desire to further intensify cooperation
between the two sides. He remarked that a regular exchange of high level visits would
play an important role in further strengthening relations.The Crown Prince termed
relations between the two sides as historic and unique.He said that Pakistan is the
closest friend and ally of the Kingdom.He said that existing relations would be
strengthened in days to come and cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan
would be further diversified for mutual benefit of both the countries.
He said that Saudi Arabia strongly desires to see a prosperous, stable and economically
vibrant Pakistan. The Crown Prince said Saudi Arabia will extend all out support to
Pakistan in diverse fields.He said that Saudi Arabia would always stand by its Pakistani
brethren whenever needed.Meanwhile, Minister of State of Saudi Arabia on Foreign
Affairs Dr. Nizar Bin Obaid Madani called on Special Assistant to Prime Minister on
Foreign Affairs Syed Tariq Fatemi and discussed bilateral, regional and international
matters of mutual interest. The meeting was held in a very cordial and friendly
atmosphere in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Sunday. The Special Assistant to Prime
Minister, while welcoming the Saudi Minister of State, stated that the Government of
Pakistan accorded high priority to its relations with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He underscored that Prime Minister of Pakistan was desirous of taking the bilateral
relations to new heights.Referring to the existing close and fraternal relations, the
Special Assistant remarked that the destinies of the two countries were interlinked and
the relations were marked by mutual trust and understanding.
He emphasised the need to initiate a new era of strategic relationship between the two
brotherly countries and also to further enhance bilateral ties in diverse areas,
particularly in economic, trade and investment sectors, to impart greater substance to
the existing cordial relations. Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr Madani
stated that the fact that the Crown Prince had chosen Pakistan as the first country for
his Asian visit, is symbolic of the importance Saudi Arabia attached to its relations with
Pakistan.Recalling the recent high level visits to Pakistan by senior members of the
Saudi Arabian leadership, including Foreign Minister, Deputy Defence Minister and
Chairman Saudi Tourism and Antiquities, Dr Madani expressed satisfaction that the
relations were moving in the right direction.He emphasised that Pakistan and Saudi
Arabia were linked with bonds of brotherhood, rooted in common culture and faith of
Islam.The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was desirous of enhancing ties with Pakistan in
diverse areas and informed that during the visit, the Crown Prince would be exchanging
views with the Pakistani leadership on the whole range of bilateral and international
issues of mutual interest, he said.
Pakistan's Top General In Saudi Arabia To
Discuss Defense Cooperation
In his first trip abroad since replacing General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani in November 2013,
General Raheel Sharif, Pakistans Chief of Army Staff, left on a three-day visit to Saudi
Arabia. Sharif will meeting King Abdullah and the entire gamut of top Saudi military
officials.
According to DAWN, Sharif will focus on defense and security cooperation and address
a range of issues, pushing for a new era in the strategic partnership between Saudi
Arabia and Pakistan.
The visit will serve as a sort of meet-and-great for Sharif who has now been Chief of
Army Staff for a little over two full months. Saudi Arabias defense and security ties with
Pakistan hinge on a close relationship with the powerful Pakistani chief of army staff.
Sharif may also discuss more mundane issues in the Kingdom such as Pakistans plans
for the joint China-Pakistan JF-17 Thunder jets that Riyadh has allegedly expressed
some interest in purchasing.
Sharifs visit will likely follow up on issues raised during Saudi Foreign Minister Turki bin
Faisal al Sauds trip to Islamabad earlier this year. During that visit, the Saudi foreign
minister met with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain, and
National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz. The visit was the first high-level visit by a Saudi
leader to Pakistan in six years and was described by the Pakistan government as
historic. The Saud minister conveyed a message from King Abdullah about
friendship, cooperation and a commitment to stand by each other under all
circumstances.
Relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan have always been closeSaudi Arabia
sees Pakistan as an important partner in South Asia and has purchased Pakistani small
arms in the past. Relations cooled slightly following General Pervez Musharrafs
departure, with the Pakistan Peoples Partys government less receptive to the Saudis
than prior Pakistani governments. Nawaz Sharifs government has made attempts in its
first year in power to return the bilateral relationship to its normal state, and Raheel
Sharifs visit will continue the momentum.
For Saudi Arabia, Pakistan is an important partner in its bid to contain Iran and Sharifs
visit so soon after Turki bin Faisals trip to Islamabad will send an alarming signal to
Tehran. Close defense and security ties with Pakistan will help Saudi Arabia maintain its
regional dominance with the assistance of an important non-Arab ally.
Sharifs visit to Riyadh is unlikely to result in any major deals, but all signs point to
closer ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. Expect defense hardware deals, military
exchanges, and training cooperation in the future.

Cultural and commercial ties

Saudi Arabia has also provided extensive religious and educational aid to Pakistan,
being a major contributor to the construction of mosques and madrassas (religious
schools) across Pakistan, the Faisal Mosque (dedicated to King Faisal of Saudi Arabia)
in Islamabad, and the capital of Pakistan. Since 1980, the number of religious schools
increased from 800 to 27000 in 1997 and all are funded by Saudi Arabia. The schools
serves as nursery for teenagers and little children (giving
religious and moral education) Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan,
Iran, Russia, Yemen etc.
Since 1947, the political parties have been receiving funding
for their political activities in the country. The major Pakistani
city of Lyallpur was also renamed Faisalabad in honor of King
Faisal in 1977. Saudi Arabia remains a major destination for
immigration amongst Pakistanis, the number of whom living in
Saudi Arabia stands between 900,000 and 1 million (see Pakistanis in Saudi
Arabia). Saudi Arabia was a major supporter of the "Islamisation" programme of the
military ruler Gen. Zia-ul-Haq in the 1970s. In 2006,

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia was awarded the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian
decoration of Pakistan.

Saudi Arabia is the largest source of petroleum for Pakistan. It also supplies extensive
financial aid to Pakistan and remittance from Pakistani migrants to Saudi Arabia is also
a major source of foreign currency. In recent years, both countries have exchanged
high-level delegations and developed plans to expand bilateral cooperation in trade,
education, real estate, tourism, information
technology, communications and agriculture. Saudi Arabia is aiding the development of
trade relations with Pakistan through the Gulf Cooperation Council, with which Pakistan
is negotiating a free trade agreement; the volume of trade between Pakistan and GCC
member states in 2006 stood at USD 11 billion.