Friend in need is a friend indeed. Pakistan, Iran & Saudi Arabia

  • Recently lot of news is coming out regarding Pakistan sending its troops to Saudi Arabia for Yemen Border. Many people think that this is not right. But lets take a step back and see how these two countries have worked with Pakistan in past.

    Pakistan nuclear test:

    When many countries around the world put economic sanctions and trade block to Pakistan on testing nuclear devices Saudi Arabia provided petrol to Pakistan free of charge for 4 years. Thing to remember is that out of these 4 years 2.5 years were of Musharraf era. So this gift was not for any particular person but for the people.

    Bailout Package

    Recently Pakistan foreign exchange reserves went down pretty drastically, deteriorating Pakistan credit rating thus driving the cost of borrowing. Saudi Arabia once again stepped in and provided around US $1.5 billion.

    Pakistan Iran gas pipeline:

    Pakistan Iran gas pipeline was one of the most expensive gas deals. Iran is charging $15/ MMBTU. However, Turkmenistan is supplying gas to Japan at a rate of $4/ MMBTU (2).

    Foreign Remittances:

    Pakistani sent US $3 Billion in foreign remittance to Pakistan from Saudi Arabic. No amount is mentioned regarding Iran (1).

    Pakistan Nuclear Program:

    It is a known fact that only high ranking official of one country is ever allowed to enter Kahuta Nuclear facility of Pakistan and that is of Saudi Arabia. It is also a known fact that the initiation of nuclear proliferation case against Pakistan and vilification campaign against Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan (the known father of Pakistan Nuclear Program) was due to Iran. The one whom we tried to help as a friend and which in turn tried to stab our back and get our nuclear program rolled back.

    Other Roles:

    Saudi Arabia:

    Saudi Arabia has not only helped when asked like after nuclear blast, but it has also helped voluntarily on number of occasion with different projects like Shah Faisal Mosque, large donations when flood or other calamities hit Pakistan.


    Iran has twice invaded Pakistan international borders and killed our men (3). Iran is involved in directly funding fiqah-jafriya and other terrorist organizations in Pakistan. Apart from some very limited humanitarian aid, Pakistan has never been given any meaningful help from Iran.

    Iran is directly involved in proxy wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Bahrain, Yemen simultaneously. There forces are on record spreading anarchy in these region.

    Lesson: Remember the True History



  • Though I do not fully agree with this write-up, nonetheless, this is a well written piece of work and deserves commendation. The contents are full of facts and perceptions drawn are logical.


  • A dismal effort to prove Saudis are good and Iranians are bad so there is nothing wrong in dropping bombs and letting our soldiers killed for Saudis.

    Saudis invest in Salafi Islam. The Islam that bombs our shrines to make sure people just go to one shrine that fuels Saudi economy. Which Fiqa e Jafariya militant organization Iran is funding in Pakistan? Compare that with our great Saudis investments in LeJ, TTP, Jaish Muhammad.

    Both Saudis and Iran are the biggest sponsor of sectarian violence all over the globe. Former perhaps the worst of two especially when it comes to Pakistan.

  • It is not the question of who is good or bad. You have to deal with the pobleblem in the neighborhood.

  • Khawarjee Houthi Jews ky agent hien.

    Saab Khawarjee (ISIS, Diash, Al Qaida, Taliban, Hizb Ullah, Houthi, Al Shabab, Gullu Qadri Firqa) Jews ky design ky matabiq in or against Muslim war kar rahy hien. Jews Dajjal ko apna protector or Muslims ka terminator janty hien, Dajjal Khawarjee ki united Army ko lead kary gy or Muslim ko kataal kary ga. His lie Jews her jagga Khawarjee ko fund karty hien.

    Dekh lo Khawrajee houthi agreement sy pechy haty, jis President ny Houthi ky leader Hussian Houthi ko kuch saal phely murder karvia, us ky sath mil kar Yemen ki elected Government ky against mutiny.

    Capture Aden, economic hub of Yemen, take U Turn invade Mecca Medina is next objective.

  • I do not think religion is the main reason for conflicts presently prevailing in almost all the Islamic countries. It is the greed of power and influence. Pakistan's greed was to influence Afghanistan. They failed 'cause strong forces like Russia, USA were also interested.

    KSA thinks itself a big chaudhury of Middleeast countries, but so thinks Iran. Saudis have the backing of USA whereas Iran is fighting for its influence on its own. There is only two hour sea-sail from Bandar Abbas to Bahrain where 90% population is Shia. But Iran cannot help them because American Aircraft carriers, cruisers and frigates are anchored in between them and having the round the clock surveillances of spy satellites. So Bahrain is ruled by Sunnie Khalifa family who have their second residences in Riyadh.

    Yemen had been a satellite independent country for Saudi Arabia. Present would-be-signed Nuclear accord between Iran and USA has totally changed the scenario for SA. It is purported that the central base of Alqaeda is sitting in Yemen. It is also purported that it has the financial support of SA to uproot Iranian design for MiddleEast. The change of hands for government in Yemen from Hadi to Saleh is not acceptable to SA. However, both Pakistan and USA have said categorically that they would protect the international boundary lines and integrity of SA but would not set their boots in troubled Yemen. They would provide jet fighters, sophisticated fire spitting equipment, train Saudi pilots but would not directly involve in the combat. 1.5 Billion story is not for Yemen. It is for deployment of Pakistanis regular Army jawans on common borders with Iraq from where SA fears infiltration of ISIS. Strangely enough, jihhadis from all over the world were brought in Syria to dethrone Bashar government. Instead, they joined hands with Iraqi Jihadist and formed ISIL. Till such time all jihadists were financed by SA.

    SA is not the only financer, there are others. If these financers withhold their money and arms and ammunition traffic, the terrorism game would die its natural death.

  • Imtiazahmad Saheb

    Can you recall the politics of early 1980s when Ronald Reagan announced in 1981 openly that their new enemy is worldwide terrorism that has to be crushed by all means!

    Per Noam Chomsky, "since there was no terrorism, so it had to be created under the banner of New World Order. In other words "keep weakening the world so that our armament industry and political blackmailing continue to flourish. But now it's turning to become as a boomerang, isn't it?

  • J.A.Khan sahib: I agree in toto. The actual wording after Soviet exit from Afghanistan was "The war is over, but a new war is in the making - war against fundamentalism". For this fundamentalism, USA had thrown billions of dollars to madressahs to teach Jihad. Like you said boomerang, it is a boomerang for USA. The policy to weaken Islamic countries through terrorism is sure in the syllabus of Pentagon but now they are realizing they didn't think about the side effects. Terrorism is going to infiltrate in their peaceful zone as well.

  • @Pervez Saab

    You have to deal with the pobleblem in the neighborhood.

    First of all we don't have to deal with the problem in neighborhood, we need to keep our house and priorities straight. Secondly, do we share border with Yemen or Saudi Arabia?

  • @Imtiaz Ahmed Saab

    I do not think religion is the main reason for conflicts presently prevailing in almost all the Islamic countries. It is the greed of power and influence.

    I can argue samething about the ambitions of Mohammad , the greed of power and influence. Religion is the tool to get there. Mohammad used it and since then his followers are using it including both Iran and Saudi Arabia. It's hard to absolve religion specifically sectarian differences between dominant player Saudi arabia and wanna be dominant Iran in all this mess.

  • @Shirazi, Your hero Modi is trying to cosy up to the hated SA King. What is his angle? Does he have anything to offer or he is just offering his usual "churen". You ask too many questions without any analysis. It is power play from start to end. You want me to hold some classes in political games, then I don't have that much time for you.

  • @Pervez Saab

    So by neighborhood you meant Nawaz Sharif is giving BJ to Royals before Modi does .....


  • @Shirazi, IT is hard to leave Anglo tits and it takes time, so your hero fell behind.

  • @Shirazi, Here is another serious look at the situation by very level headed Indian analyst MK BadraKumar. He seems be pressing panic button. I like your comment on it or anybody else caring to comment.

    The ‘Salman doctrine’ will haunt India

    Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen has been all along a foregone conclusion. There was no reason to disbelieve the definitive announcement by the Saudi side in this regard a week ago already. Riyadh estimated that it had made an offer to Pakistan that the latter simply cannot refuse.

    The rest is theatrics. Pakistan is going through the motions of showing that it has a mind of its own. To mollify domestic critics, the government has resorted to sophistry – that Pakistan is only defending the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Saudi Arabia; that Pakistan is actually offering ‘mediation’ in the conflict in Yemen; that Pakistan is engaging the (toothless, spineless, moribund) Organization of Islamic Conference to mediate; that no final decision has yet been taken regarding Pakistani participation in the military campaign in Yemen; that the Pakistani nation and the country’s lawmakers will be taken into confidence on any such decision and so on.

    At any rate, public opinion never really matters in Pakistan when the ‘establishment’ has total clarity bout what to do on any policy issue. And in this case, fortuitously, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and army chief Raheel Sharif are absolutely on the same page as well (although the military will always maintain the charade that the civilian leadership is the ultimate authority and decision-maker.) Both Sharifs are, in fact, stakeholders in their respective ways in coupling Pakistan to the Saudi-led bandwagon in the Middle East.

    From the Indian perspective, it is at once obvious that the developing regional security scenario has profound implications. If an analogy can be drawn, we are at the threshold of an emergent scenario that bears similarities or is comparable to another defining moment in regional security – the launch of the US-Pakistani-Saudi collaborative project of ‘jihad’ directed against the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan in1980. Remember the dramatic appearance of the then US national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski at the Khyber Pass on February 3, 1980? The current visit by a high-powered Pakistani delegation to Riyadh brings back memories.

    The heart of the matter is that Pakistan is once again positioning itself as a key participant in an uncertain enterprise whose only certainty is that it is sure to be hugely beneficial financially and materially — and the Pakistani elites, civilian and military, find that to be irresistible.

    One may philosophize that the rentier mentality of the Pakistani elites is tragic. Of course, it is always a pathetic sight when the elites sell their country in the bazaar so shamelessly. Of course, this new adventure in the Persian Gulf region will eventually hurt Pakistani interests – perhaps, even more than the Afghan saga thirty-five years ago.

    But then, there is big money in it if the Saudis loosen their purse strings (which they would, given the high stakes involved for the survival of the House of Saud). As for the danger of getting involved in sectarian strife, that is nothing new to Pakistan; and, the relations with Iran have always remained problematic in all these decades since the Islamic revolution in 1979.

    However, beyond all this, India should make a serious note of the comment, inter alia, in a New York Times report two days ago that “Saudi Arabia is also expected to step up its efforts to develop a nuclear bomb [with Pakistani help].” Indeed, this is a very real possibility against the backdrop of the impending US-Iranian deal.

    There has always been strong suspicion regarding covert Saudi funding for Pakistan’s nuclear programme and of a Faustian deal between the two brotherly states that an ‘Islamic bomb’ will be their common heritage. It stands to reason that the hour of reckoning may be fast approaching.

    One big check against such a thing happening would have been the US’ influence over Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. But today, both these client states are displaying an extraordinary degree of ‘strategic defiance’. The well-known Saudi establishment writer Jamal Khashoggi has come out with a startling revelation – if more confirmation is needed – that “Saudi Arabia no longer cares” what Washington thinks or says and “if Saudi Arabia has to act alone, then it will.” He calls this the ‘Salman doctrine” (named after King Salman of Saudi Arabia.)

    Now, it will be simplistic to say that this is all merely a passing over-reaction to the Middle East policies of the present US Administration that have annoyed the Saudi leadership. Of course, it is inevitable that the Israeli Lobby and the Republican Party in the US will use such an argument to further vilify President Barack Obama (without realizing, alas, that in the final analysis, the ‘Salman Doctrine’ will cast shadows on Israel’s security, too.)

    In actuality, though, the roots of the ‘Salman doctrine’ run very deep. It has been lying in the sub-soil, struggling to surface, for some years already (or even decades) and was impatiently waiting for the departure of the late King Abdullah from the helm of affairs. Most important, it also forms part of the succession struggle within the House of Saud and, specifically in today’s circumstances, it is almost inextricably linked with the career of the son of King Salman, 34-year old Prince Mohammed bin Salman (sixth son of the 80-year old king who suffers from dementia) whom his father appointed as defence minister within a day of being anointed as the new monarch.

    In the regional context, the stunning part is that the ‘Salman doctrine’ is not an isolated phenomenon born in the Arabian Peninsula. Indeed, Turkey’s Recep Erdogan must be counted as one of the doctrine’s most ardent votaries in the Middle East. Erdogan’s apparent madness does have a pattern – mothballing Turkey’s ties with Israel and repeatedly insulting that country’s leaders even at personal level; ostentatiously patronizing the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas; coyly lurching toward the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and Russia’s Vladimir Putin (while still remaining a NATO member country); tenaciously keeping up the secret dalliance with the al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria despite all western criticism; threatening to procure a defence missile system from China; and, harboring the notions of ‘neo-Ottomanism’.

    Coming back to Pakistan, the ‘Salman doctrine’ is nothing new to the country’s military elites. As a matter of fact, it forms a veritable ideological bedrock for large sections of the officer corps of that country’s military who have been weaned on General Zia-ul-Haq’s ‘Islamization’ agenda.

    Put differently, the ingredients of the Saudi and Pakistani crucibles are the same – ultra-nationalism rooted in the Islamic identity; staunch faith in the manifest destiny of the Muslim world in civilizational terms; sense of impotency vis-à-vis American power and the profound angst borne out of it; virulent ‘anti-Americanism’ (whilst also seeking US’ help); and, most important, a gung-ho attitude bordering on recklessness that everything is possible if only the Muslims of the region united against the predatory dominance by the West.

    One might argue that it is not a bad thing at all if countries take their fate into their hands and decide to act in their self-interest. Those with a cold-war mindset might even view with schadenfreude the discomfiture of the Americans that two of their key non-NATO allies have rebelled against their tutelage. But from an Indian viewpoint, a chilling reality arises here when the Saudi-Pakistani military alliance gathers momentum in the coming period.

    Simply put, all bets are off as regards the new frontiers of the Saudi-Pakistani military alliance. The point is, Saudi Arabia is engaging Pakistan as the Praetorian Guards of the House of Saud and there is a good price to be paid for the services to be rendered by the GHQ in Rawalpindi. It is well-known that the Saudi armed forces are a joke, but on the other hand, they have ultra-modern equipment and unlimited financial resources. Whereas, the Pakistani army is regarded today as the most powerful – and highly professional – military machine among all Muslim countries and to boot it, Pakistan is also a nuclear power. Yet, it is strapped for cash. All in all, the Saudi-Pakistani alliance becomes a match made in heaven.

    To be sure, Pakistan doesn’t have to worry where to find the money to finance the multi-billion dollar deal to procure the eight submarines it is reportedly negotiating with China to gain parity with India in naval prowess. This is only one telling example. In fact, the visit by the Chinese President Xi Jinping to Pakistan next week is perfectly timed. China could turn out to be a major beneficiary of the Saudi-Pakistani alliance.

    In political terms, the ‘Salman doctrine’ liberates Saudi Arabia from its past inhibitions in owning up its dealings with the al-Qaeda. The latest events in Syria suggest that Saudi and Turkish intelligence have openly helped the military victory of the Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate, in Idlib city over the government forces. In short, a new phase of the Syrian war is commencing, riveted on boosting the capabilities of the extremist groups to violently overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

    Saudi Arabia has never had qualms about using al-Qaeda groups in foreign countries but has been consistently in denial mode. The Salman doctrine virtually legitimizes the nefarious nexus. The high probability is that the al-Qaeda affiliates in southern Yemen would act as Saudi surrogates against the Houthi militia as time passes.

    Suffice it to say, the ‘action plan’ of the Salman doctrine, insofar as it has no qualms about using the extremist Islamist terror groups as tools of regional politics, is bound to cast its shadow in South Asia. There are enough signs already that Pakistan has decided to initiate another major push for an outright Taliban takeover in Afghanistan, and may have no serious intentions of fulfilling the offer to facilitate peace talks between the Kabul government and the insurgents. (See my article in Asia Times Online titled Ghani’s US visit lays bare Afghan fault lines.)

    The dramatic decline in the US influence in the Middle East will only encourage Pakistan to ignore Obama’s entreaties for an early Afghan settlement. In any case, Pakistan harbors the grievance that Obama not only failed to reciprocate Pakistan’s ‘goodwill’ but also ‘tilted’ toward India and did nothing to help reach a solution to the Kashmir problem.

    Significantly, Khashoggi (whose links with the top echelons of the House of Saud are far too well-known to be recalled here) has warned that Saudi Arabia will support Turkey to go for an all-out attempt by Erdogan to force a regime change in Syria “without US approval”. He prophesied: “Just like Erdogan supported Saudi Arabia’s operation in Yemen, Saudi Arabia will of course support him if he decides to adopt Salman’s doctrine.”

    These are ominous words and should ring alarm bells in Delhi. Their import cannot be lost on the Indian policymakers. From the Saudi point of view, what holds good for Erdogan could as well hold good for Pakistan’s Sharif. After all, the ‘troika’ — Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Pakistan — had at one time, in the bloodiest years of the insurgency in Jammu & Kashmir in the early 1980s, had formed a cozy little ‘Contact Group’ within the OIC to help the Kashmiri people to assert their right of ‘self-determination’.

    Posted in Military, Politics, Religion, Terrorism.

    Tagged with al-Qaeda, Kashmir problem, Syria's civil war, Taliban reconciliation, Yemen civil war.

    No comments »

    By M K Bhadrakumar – April 2, 2015

  • @Shirazi Jee

    "I can argue samething about the ambitions of Mohammad , the greed of power and influence"

    I am amazed with your knowledge & logic about ambitions of Prophet of Islam. If declaration of Prophethood of Islam was because of greed of power, why he waited for 53 years before migrating to Medina to establish government in Medina. Why didn't he leverage the wealth of Bibi Khadijah to buy out tribes. It would have been easy since the family of Prophet was already controling Kaaba / Mecca. Also, all kufaars were willing to give everything in exchange of accepting their gods.

  • @Pervez Saab

    Could you please summarize three bullets in this lengthy BS article - what is in this war for Pakistan? We haven't learned from poking our nose in other countries affairs? Most of the Jihadis from around the globe have found safe havens within our frontiers. As opposition leader Nawaz Sharif was saying he will revisit Pakistan's foreign policy and as PM he is opening more and more jihadi frontiers to appease his Royal masters. People of Yemen have every right to decide their destiny. To begin with why Saudis are poking nose in their affairs and even if they are why Pakistan is indulging in yet another needless war?

    Also, get over Indian phobia - You and your Generals can't justify every BS by dragging India in the sentence.

  • @Shirazi, Now you have reading and comprehension disabilities, I don't have a solution for such a problem.

    Don't change the subject to do your defensive trick. I Just asked to give comment nothing more.

  • @Shirazi, Are you angry with me or the writer Badrakumar?

  • @Pervez Saab

    Why 'd I be angry on you or Badrakumar? You guys didn't make a decision to drop bombs on Yemenis. You are just trying (unsuccessfully) to spin what makes absolutely no sense. The reason you are copy pasting and not writing your own words because you don't know wtf to write on this dumb move. The people of Yemen are settling their governance issues which is somehow making King Salman insecure. The Sharifs and Pervezs of the world are licking his balls assuring him he is on the right side of the history. That doesn't make me angry, it amuses me.

  • @Shirazi, When you get over your fixation with balls, then we can talk about something reasonable and intelligent, meanwhile, be happy and amused thinking about balls.