Saturday, May 27, 2023
Support Our Journalism
HomeOpinionLetter From PakistanWhat’s Pakistan without Saudi loan, oil and free royal jet rides for...

What’s Pakistan without Saudi loan, oil and free royal jet rides for Imran Khan?

Pakistan was asked to repay $1bn of the Saudi loan, which it did by borrowing from China, but Qureshi called it an economic favour to the Arab nation in Covid-19.

Text Size:

If only Pakistani diplomacy was like Ertugrul drama series. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi is definitely not playing a warrior who can conquer nations with a sword. Or in his case, with words. Just ask the Pakistani Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa who now has to pick up the pieces and fix the mess Quereshi has created with Saudi Arabia.

There is loan, there is oil. And what is Pakistan without Saudi loans and oil? Well, there is always Kashmir, of course.

In a charged Kashmir-lost-and-not-found atmosphere on 5 August 2020, Quereshi threatened Saudi Arabia-led Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) that if Kashmir is not taken up at the ministerial level, then Pakistan will move forward “with or without” the Saudis. He was hinting at the Malaysian-Iranian-Turkish Muslim bloc that has been vocal on Kashmir post abrogation of Article 370 by India last year. His statement was a result of a year-long Pakistani frustration at not getting its way on Kashmir in the OIC because of India’s economic clout.

Pakistan was asked to repay $1billion of the Saudi loan, which it did by borrowing from China, but before Qureshi called it an economic favour to Saudi Arabia in the Covid-19 pandemic. Really? Pakistan donating money to Saudi Arabia is a bigger insult to the desert kingdom than forging another OIC without them. And, what’s worse, ARY News channel and its social media platforms censored foreign minister Qureshi by taking his comments down.

Also read: Who needs a Google Map? Naya Pakistan is Naya Mapistan

Pakistan, leader of Islamic ummah?

Pakistan nurses the grand delusion of being a self-proclaimed leader of Islamic ummah because it is a nuclear power. Pakistan believes it can mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia, or can even smooth things up between the US and Iran, or end the war in Yemen. Like how? When you don’t have a penny in the pocket but you want to take up others’ causes instead of fixing your own house.

But after Quereshi’s outburst against Saudi Arabia, will the free rides in the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman’s personal jet come to an end for Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan? Or will this incident be another slap on the wrist, like one in Kuala Lumpur last year for trying to be part of an Islamic coalition?

But the more important question is: will the other Islamic brother-countries, like Turkey or Malaysia, pick up the tab for self-styled leader of Muslim world, Pakistan, the way Saudis did?

Also read: How to become an instant hero in Pakistani social media — shoot someone to save Islam

The Pakistan-Saudi bonding

It was in 2018 that the cash-strapped government of Imran Khan was extended a $6.2 billion package by Saudi Arabia. This included $3 billion in loans and oil on deferred payments worth $3.2 billion. These deals were sealed during the much-hyped visit of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to Pakistan last February. Now, Saudi Arabia has stopped the oil supply after the deferred payments deal expired.

For decades, Pakistan relied on Saudi Arabia financially and it used the religious and cultural front to boost those ties. During the February 2019 visit when the Imran-MBS bromance was peaking, PM himself had driven the crown prince from the airport. Khan had told MBS that he was so popular in Pakistan that he could win an election here. Lucky us. Not holding back in niceties, the Crown Prince declared himself an ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia. Couldn’t believe the nation’s luck. Later, both were seen in a horse-drawn carriage, giving an image of happily-ever-afters. But then, there are no happily-ever-afters in real life.

The Pakistani journalists who had put up the photo of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as their Twitter display pictures to show solidarity were hounded by the Pakistani government agencies for leading a social media campaign against the royal Saudi guest. Those were the days. Pakistan couldn’t tolerate such insult to the Kingdom. PM Imran Khan had his priorities clear: Pakistan was desperate and the government needed Saudi loans to avoid defaulting. Khan had attended the 2018 Riyadh investment summit even when several others had dropped out.

Every country watches its own political and economic interests first, but for some strange reason, Pakistan thinks every country should put their ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ interest first.

Also read: The cost of speaking truth to power in Imran Khan’s Naya Pakistan — you might not return home

Muslim lives matter, but not in China

Imran Khan and his government stays silent over the persecution of Uighurs Muslims in China. Khan chooses to turn the other way saying: ‘Frankly, I don’t know much about it’. The reason for Pakistan’s silence over Uighurs is simple: China is a benefactor, you cannot offend China. Pakistan is indebted to China so the passion for ‘Muslim lives matter’ doesn’t apply here. Unfortunately, that is how human rights issues work.

Similarly, Saudi Arabia has economic interests in India. For Saudis, India is a viable economic partner, not a country that depends on it for bailout packages. And that Saudi Arabia is India’s fourth-largest trade partner doesn’t help Pakistan’s cause either. Same applies to Gulf countries, like the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, who also by the way, have generously extended loans to Pakistan. But the claims that Imran Khan would never ask for bheek and prefer to commit suicide over it never stand because that is exactly what Pakistan has done for survival. Beggars can’t be equal partners.

The author is a freelance journalist from Pakistan. Her Twitter handle is @nailainayat. Views are personal.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. Naila’s courage, quality of thinking+writing and consistence is to be admired.
    Well done Naila. Wish you all the best. If you come to India keep one meal reserved at my place.
    – Wing Commander Ravindra Parasnis (Retd)

  2. every hindu wants tibet to be free But justifies Ugyr genocide …. they shed tears for kashmiri pandit but justifies rohingya genocide …. because they are muslims … 90% of police army judiciary are hindus with hindutva govt in center and Hindus are victims? as if Aurangzeb is ruling India …. Pakistanis are not down because they are stupid but because they are corrupt ….. even after that Pakistanis dont go hungry ….. compare that to india … there are starvation death in bengal jharkhand and now all over india in 21 st century but tge govt. do not publish theses accounts …. more over PAkistan has not sold nukes to arabs ….. but iran and uae niw have nuckear stations with the help of russia and nato …. RIGHT NOW modi will not go to loo before asking Usa Israel europe …. as proved by not buying iranian oil ….. imagine whole ME Pakistan Afghanistan Iran Turkey becomes a single block ….. Muslim world has the most potential …. only lack unity of interest …. think about that …..

    • Kaunsa sasta nasha karte ho bhai.. Modi doesn’t go to loo without asking USA, ISrael and Europe.. Mast bewakuf ho tum log. People like you are greatest asset of India

  3. Pakistan and Saudi are not friends only, but two muslim brotherhood also… India suppose to mind his own business… Muslims are always muslims, different bodies but one soul (Islam).
    Where is India in the region? Sitting in the lap of America?
    All Pakistani allies are friends of Pakistan but whoever stand with india is just due to some specific means only…
    India is alone in the region, China, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, SriLanka, Nepal or who else?
    For now, India must care only Khalistan and Indian occupied Kashmir issues (my advice to Endia).

    • India sitting on lap of America? You are high on weeds ?
      It was Pakistan who was sitting on the American lap not long ago. But then you felt something is pushing you. You jumped on to China’s lap. But very soon you will find out Chinese doing the same.

  4. Malaysian-Iranian-Turkish . alliance ..well as far as Malaysia is concerned even its PM would not take a toilet break without informing US though they project some differences a la Chinese in 1995. So as long as they are there everything will be duly passed on and is well peaceful. It seems that Gulf countries will take equidistant approach vis vis India and China. Then next target for neo Imperialism (wink) will either be Turkey or Iran. With Russia not on good terms with Turkey …it could be that Ertugrul becomes Ertugool (no Ertu) but Iran evokes more passion everywhere.

  5. I can describe the whole article in one or two sentences” The whole world’s ass is burning like hell by the mere thought of a nuclear muslim state”
    Second the history of how pakistan came into being in the face of crippling disabilities imposed by the devils of those times is enough to prove that Pakistan will survive, even though India-Israel-US criminal trio will burn in the fire of hatred of Islam.

    • We know about povert our per capita was twice lower than u in 90s now it is much more than Ur country even Bangladesh is beating you by huge margin your obsession with India will lead u hell
      U country and minds were rull by army boots and u will be rule by boots because u deserve this

    • Looks Correct But
      Only 1 side story….
      Its really appreciated if u also share past 5 years hidtory of pakistan policy for neighbouring country

    • How can she be honest? Don’t you know what happens when you speak the truth in the Modi government? In addition to that, Naila Inayat is one of those Hindustani Muslims who have spent their lives proving their loyalty to the country and people like her will keep doing it as long as they accept to live like slaves in Hindustan.

      • 🤣🤣what an ignorance brother. . She’s a Pakistani. . Not Indian. .
        Now you have to create for another reason to blame our government.
        Sorry. .🤷‍♂️

  6. This reminds me the story I read in class two in 1942. Two bulls; brothers and a lion. The lion wanted to eat them. Every time he attached the brothers stood firm to defend each other and he would fail. He thought of a strategy.He told one of the brothers that he wanted to be hi friend but the other is brother is in the way. He was able to create a schism between them. Now the lion attacked. One bull stood alone when he attacked . The lion easily killed one bull and he had a good meal. A week later he came to the other bull and also killed an ate him. This is what is India and Pakistan, the two brothers . They cannot face any foreign power as long as they are not ready to fight for each other. It may be that Pakistan will be devoured first but then that foreigner could come for India and get a meal. For God sake Indians and Pakistanis get together. Your problem started you slaughtered your mother. You have tried for 70 years and found no solution to your animosity to each other. The type of problems you have are intractable because your geography. Throw partition away. Become one country. No country could beat you.

    • Peace between India and Pakistan is fine and mutually rewarding but becoming one nation and live as brothers? No way. The cultural and religious schism is huge. The radicalization in Pakistan is far too advanced to be reversed.
      We might be able to live in peace with each other but never as one nation.

    • Lion, you mean China? Technicalky China is devouring Pakistan while India helplessly watch. Actually there are no bulls here. The mother cow is worried about an immature erring calf, trying to test it’s newly grown harn on the mother.

    • A very sane advice I heard in a long time. Had India and Pakistan not partitioned the Akand Bharat would have beaten China and become a world power.

      • Yes. .
        I agree.
        But the problem here is, as many muslims and Pakistanis think, Pakistan was not the idea of MA Jinna, but the British’s, they laid foundations for Pakistan in 1945, Jinnah is just a pawn.
        They bifurcated India into 2(3 later), US started another fire in the Pakistan to counter USSR in 90s, Pakistan army has always been fed on and kept its subjects under their boots. But they own luxurious properties in Europe. Those who provoke and sedate innocent teens to fight Jihad, sends their kids to foriegn countries to study and settle.
        These guys made the invaders rapists and looters, who destroyed very first universities of the world, heroes and icons of glory, just in the name of Islam, and you say “Wah! Wah!”.
        They feel ashamed to agree that they share ancestry with India, they try to show themselves as arabs. Why?
        What for they have nuclear weapons, when they can’t even afford flour and sugar for a common man.
        The people of pak should realize a thing, India is not a threat to their nation unless pak take first step.
        No part of Kashmir belongs to you, not were, and will never, you even occupied balochistan.
        What you give the world will return to you.
        Its China, their new master, a large chunk of companies in pak are now owned by that country, the way they treat Pakistanis, even we feel bad for that, they own much of pak now. When Saudi asked to repay debts you’ve gone to pak, to whom will you go if china asks for repayment?
        Why don’t china do the same to you as it did to uyghurs? Once they come there. .
        They are just using pak.
        I’m not accusing or threatening anyone here, just realize what your army sponsored and run governments did till now and still doing. .
        I’m really feeling sad for the position in in which Pakistan is in.
        Do you really think that it’s in the power of pak to take Kashmir(which actually no way yours)?
        They are telling the same “Kashmir banega Pakistan ” for 70 years, you are still believing.
        Do you really believe your government(run by army) and army(which lost every war to India) could do this.
        And yet Pakistanis don’t realize that they were being looted by their own government and dance to the tunes of it.
        Wake up guys, before China occupies your nation.
        Raise your voice for your development first.
        Peace be on the world.

  7. Every country watches its own political and economic interests first, but for some strange reason, Pakistan thinks every country should put their ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ interest first.
    Brilliant comment.

  8. “Every country watches its own political and economic interests first, but for some strange reason, Pakistan thinks every country should put their ‘Kashmir banega Pakistan’ interest first.”
    You nailed it Naila.

  9. despite being a critic, i admire this new stance in pakistani leadership n wish it continues in the future. we have for long bragged to survive over eating grass without puting a dent in our national interests, well now is the time to prove it. nations only come out strong when passed through troubled times.

  10. This article has obviously been written by some stupid under-educated Indian as it is structured on pure envy and bias against Pakistan. India has abandoned her illicit male lover, Russia for the $$$ investment along with lucrative American export market?! India has forgotten how the American was indirectly involved in the assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, India & Rahul Gandhi? Pakistan & China along with Turkey (and now Iran), are in a close knit strategic alliance which is unbreakable! Pakistan directly defeated Russia in the Soviet – Afghan War in the 80s being a “poor” country. Is India a “rich” country where half of the population neither has clean water or toilets? Pakistan had clearly shifted its “direction” away from the U S. After the 1998 when all sorts of restrictions were placed on Pakistan for conducting successful Nuclear tests vis a vis Indian’s Nuclear Tests which was followed by sudden threats against Pakistan for no apparent reason other than Indian hagemonistic designs in the region. India blatantly lies openly in the international arena about China crushing Indian’s neck in the northern Himalayas. The Indian lie about it shooting down Pakistani F-16 was cleared up by the American manufacturer claiming no Pakistani F-16 was missing in its intricate digitalized worldwide inventory! What was an Israeli pilot doing with the shot down Abinandhan last year? India could not even manage to fly 2 minutes over Pakistani territory when both Indian aircraft were shot down by Pakistan! Why doesn’t India try a “Cold Start” attack on Pakistan instead of barking 24 hours a day? Pakistani General Musharraf had informed India quite clearly about India being kicked and beaten from all sides if it attempts any misadventures with Pakistan! Indian’s hostile insane attitude has caused forced Pakistan to not release imprisoned Indian spies in Pakistani even though Pakistan had shown tremendous kindness in returning Abinandhan back to India! If Pakistan is poor, why is India so damn concerned? Does Pakistan ask India for financial assistance? India should stop dancing like an insane entity on the tunes of the U. S. as “America” is truly no one’s “friend”! The U. S. just uses other nations for its own hagemonistic agenda. Its quite an open secret that Pakistan has indegenously-developed missiles to reach even the U. S. with lethal nuclear payloads strong enough to destroy entire North American continent in less than one Hour! Even North Korea has the capability to nuke the U. S. West Coast in similar timing. India should learn to mind its own damn business instead of mending in its neighbour’s matters! The U. S. is an evil empire of freemasons who enslaved innocent African pheasants to perform free hard labour for them. The United States wreaks of blood!

    • FYI: The author is Pakistani and she seems very well educated and a lot smarter than most of Pakistani. No one can deny the fact that today foreign policy is not defined by mere religion. It is decided by the economic and strategic benefits and same thing is clearly visible in case of Pakistan’s foreign policy towards China. China is providing tons of money to Pakistan and in return Pakistan is not uttering a single word for uighars in China. But most Pakistanis are too delusional to understand this simple thing

      • Stop being a simp. And I doubt she wrote without any bias towards IK. I think she doesn’t understand that Kashmir is a soul for Pak as non ppl understand geographical or political perspective of that. Currently, India is in wraps with China, and we have a chance to step over with china jumping over the land on the other side of Kashmir, as they also finally understand the value of thqt mountainous valley.

    • hey mr ronak or whatever you are may you find a real job that pays you so that you don’t have to write these lengthy comments for your masters. please get a life because China is not going to dole out money to you like Saudis. You might die in poverty.

  11. Everything is about, kaun apna zameer kitne mein bech raha hai. Pakistan is selling it’s zameer and zameen to China, taking billions in return every year.

    • Why is cow urine and cow dung consuming India and Indians show so much concern for Pakistan or even China? Do Indians see Pakistan and China in their dreams or nightmares? Does India see a husband for itself in Pakistan and China? India has 2 husbands – China and Pakistan! Then America must be Indian’s pimp?

      • Obviously you can think only of multiple partners and brokering because that’s what you have been taught and practising. Lol.

      • Don’t you have a cousin to marry? In breeding has affected your brain. Look inwards to see who is the ‘kept’ tuwaif living off US, then KSA now China! Ironically on Independence day, 73 years later still running to KSA or china to survive!

  12. What a one sided piece of article ………….author is filled with so much hate that she could not even give any semblance of the true picture…………In international relations there are no permanent friends……………..nor are there any free lunches………… forgot to mention that since 1960’s Pakistan army is the praetorian guard for Saudi Arabia…………1969 PAF Pilots bombed Yemen forces………….1979 Pakistan SSG regained control of Kaaba from Saudi militants………….1982 a mega independent armored brigade of Pakistan army was posed at Tabuk,…… in 1990 Gulf war Pakistan air defense batteries shot down Iraqi scuds……..on & on. Pakistan nuclear umbrella extends to the Holy places in Saudi Arabia………Pakistan military has been a major counterweight to aggressive Iranian moves……………in the civilian side Pakistani doctors & engineers were the first foreign professionals in the Kingdom…………when two such states are so overlapped & interconnected…it normally means they will develop a new normal !!!

    • “In international relations there are no permanent friends……………..nor are there any free lunches”

      100% agreed. But then how is Pakistan going to pay for those lunches provided by China. Once China start to ask for the payback Pakistan will be in deep trouble. And don’t say China is your friend cause there are no free lunches and no permanent friends in international relations.

  13. As long as Army calls the shot in Pakistan , very little change is expected from what it has been for last 70 odd years

  14. i read the whole article to see how much the author can stoop down to insult Imran khan. Then i went through the whole website to see how dedicated Miss Naila is towards shaming Imran Khan. Just like Imran khan has dedicated himself towards the betterment of the Muslim Ummah, Miss Naila has dedicated herself to towards shaming him and that too with such absurd words. Shame!

    • Naye pakistan mein tabdeeli aayi re! Now pakistanis will have to just wait and watch. In the next 5 years, pakistani will be inducted into the EU. After that, all Europeans will flock to the pakistani embassy and stand in serpentine-long queues to apply for pakistani citizenship for pakistan. Such is the great work of the niyazi, Imran Khan for drastically turning the economy and standards of living around. Peace be upon him. Ameen.

  15. We are wasting our time with bothering about Pakistan.When non-Arab muslim’s go to middle eastern countries like Quatar,UAE,Libya,Saudi Arabia,Iraq,Jordan and all the rest they are treated like dirt even Malaysians,Indonesians,Philopino’s are the same.Watch China drop Pakis since they the chinese are working with Iran.

  16. Countries just don’t disappear from the face of earth. Greece faced all kinds of financial problems about 4-5 years back. It is still around. So will Pakistan though it is the sick-man of Asia with lot of social, economic and political baggage, not to speak of being lead by a lameduck democratic government. There is nothing for India if Pakistan faces financial hardships. On the other hand, the problem in the border may be acentuated, as it is a good diversionary tactic to divert public focus on financial problems.

  17. I congratulate you mam, very well expressed views. The Print who publishes this article need to read and understand it well.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular