Post Imran Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia that lasted from 3rd to the 9th of May, Saudi Arabia has given 19032 bags of rice, that is, nearly 440 tonnes of rice to Pakistan that in itself is considered as a major rice exporting country. The ‘zakat’ is said to be for the Punjab and the Khyber-Pakhtun region of Pakistan that has seen farmers lately suffering from agricultural crisis due to water shortage, subsidy-cut, middle-men issue, etc. This, however, has given rise to a new controversy over the already controversial Imran Khan government.
It is quite unfortunate that this neighbour of India for long has chosen to prioritize terror funding, arms smuggling, money laundering, etc. over the basic needs of its citizens like food, education, health, etc. Home to terrorists like Hafiz Saeed, the administration, including its army focuses more on destabilizing India than stabilizing the state of matter within their borders. This is the reason now even the Financial Action Task Force has put the country on their grey list making it more vulnerable to economic turmoil. Nevertheless, the country, it seems, still has chosen to spiral down the lives of the Pakistani citizens to feed the ‘blood-thirst’ of the radicals.
The border areas of India, especially next to Pakistan have always been a matter of concern for our government. From terrorists and separatists making their way into India through the borders in Kashmir to drugs and arms being sent to the Punjab region of India, the country since 1947 has never backed off from exhausting its resources and even men on us rather than their progress as a nation. This exhaustion of own resources has led to the high demand of zakats like the rice bags from Saudi Arabia and loans and funding from countries like China by the Pakistani administration. However, it might be late before it realizes that it has become just another conquest of the Chinese propaganda due to over-burdening loans and support. Already, under the Belt and Road Initiative, the Pakistani citizens are complaining about being removed from their local shops and even farms that come on the BRI way.
Nevertheless, keeping the affairs of Pakistan aside for once, India must ponder upon how it is going to get affected by the recent developments. China, since the Galwan faceoff, has been building up a base in the Balochistan and Khyber-Pakhtun region. Now, Saudi Arabia going close to the country can affect the bond India has built with the Islamic world in the past decade. Indian diplomacy must keep an eye on this recent Pakistan-Saudi relationship and make its way stronger towards the Arabic world via its soft power.
As for Pakistan, it is a waste of time to even think that the country would genuinely embrace progress and peace with India that would not only keep our border concerns at bay but would also help the Pakistani citizens. From the UN to the inter-governmental bodies, the country leadership talks more about the Muslim minority of India portraying more like an Ulama than a Prime Minister. As it is said- ‘We don’t choose our neighbours’ thus India must deal with it. Measures like the removal of Article 370, retaliation to terrorist attacks, mobilizing the world against terrorism, electronic fences at the border, etc. are worth appreciation. The government must keep its stand firm until Pakistan stops its propaganda to destabilize India. Talks can’t happen with the other side keeping a dagger in hands that have already injured India in the past. This time, if peace comes, it would come the ‘Indian way’.
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