Saudi Crown Prince’s silence on Pak
Visiting Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans commiserations over the Pulwama attack fell short of expectations The Prince did not mention...
Visiting Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s commiserations over the Pulwama attack fell short of expectations. The Prince did not mention Pakistan, leave alone indicting it for cross-border terror like the Americans and the British usually do. Some renitence is understandable — Pakistan army serves as Riyadh’s Praetorian Guard, there are 20 lakh Pakistanis in Saudi Arabia, and for decades, the US-Saudi-Pakistan troika has acted in close concert to superimpose its foreign policy on the region. Nor do the Saudis have very clean hands, having involved themselves in backing non-State actors, from Afghanistan to Syria.
Despite these constraints, India’s success in breaking into the Saudi security calculus is laudable: there is an offer for real-time intelligence sharing, which was recently in evidence when Riyadh deported half a dozen Lashkar-e-Taiba suspects along with the prospect of a partnership in maritime security that matches with India’s desire to keep a military eye on its sea lanes of communication carrying bulk of its energy supplies. But more important is the move towards erecting formal structures for interaction on anti-terrorism and investment.
Harigopal Kandhimalla, Bhadrachalam