Pakistan-Saudi Relation Sours:
Pakistan Army Chief of Staff Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Saudi Arabia in an effort to strengthen political ties between the two countries. Bajwa was sent to Riyadh after insisting on paying the original 3$ billion Loan taken by Pakistan. In early August, Pakistan repaid a $ 1 billion loan to Saudi Arabia with the help of China.
In 2019, Saudi Arabia has confirmed it will invest more than $ 20 billion with Pakistan to boost its economy. Earlier, in November 2018, Saudi Arabia announced a debt package worth more than $ 6 billion as Pakistan saw a foreign exchange reserve crisis and a widening trade deficit. International controversy erupted in February when Saudi Arabia rejected Pakistan’s request to suspend a special meeting of the Organization of Foreign Affairs (OIC) ministries seeking the cooperation of Muslim countries on the Kashmir issue. OIC members include Malaysia, Indonesia, Iraq, Iran, UAE, Bangladesh, Turkey, and Afghanistan, and its support is crucial as it is heavily led by Saudi Arabia.
While Saudi Arabia supported Pakistan on the Kashmir issue decades ago, the state and other Gulf countries have refrained from making statements against India over the repeal of Article 370 of the Constitution, which they have strongly condemned. One reason for this may be the growing trade relations between the Gulf countries and India, especially Saudi Arabia. The empire is India’s fourth-largest trading partner and the trade value of the two countries is estimated at 28 million. Most of which exports crude oil to India, exporting 19% of oil demand from Saudi Arabia.
Apart from this, the countries have also been cooperating in defense, security, and terrorist cooperation. It have seen continuous improvement in relations since 2006.
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