Saudi-Pak extreme friendship to boost the economy

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By Abdul Basit Khan,

On Saturday 17, 2019, Crown Prince Shah Salman Bin Saud visited Pakistan for two days. This was one of the high profile visits of any head of state in Pakistan after becoming Imran Khan as new Prime Minister. The relationships between Saudi-Pak are extremely friendly, much deeper than the depth of ocean. These relationships are based on religion, cultural, social, economic as well as political. A minor break in the relations was observed during Yamen War. In April 2015,
the Govt. of Pakistan took this matter in Parliament of Pakistan, After five days of mostly divisive debate, parliament adopted a soft resolution, calling for Pakistan to remain neutral in the Yemen conflict, sidestepping Saudi Arabia’s demand for a military contribution to the Saudi-led coalition that is currently fighting Houthi rebels.
But still the history can’t forget the role of Pakistan for the safety and security of “Bait-ul- Maqdas” in November 1979. An elite unit called “Rahbar” of the SSG, the commando battalion head by the General Pervez Musharraf who was Major of Pakistan Army and Ex-President of
Pakistan, reached Macca from Pakistan upon the request of Saudi Govt. In the middle of the day, Saudi troops abseiled from helicopters directly into the central courtyard of the mosque. The Saudi soldiers were picked off by insurgents holding superior positions. After failure of this
exercise, Pakistani SSG Commandos split/showered the water all over the Grand Masjid floors even in Minarets. This situation was very surprising for the insurgents that what was going to be
happens next. On having water all over the floors of the Grand Masjid, Pak Army Commandos released the electric current in the water and insurgent suspended their activities and start
changing their positions to save them from the electric shocks. During this Pak Army Commandos were dropped by helicopters into the Grand Masjid in different locations and they easily captured many of the insurgents alive. During Earthquake in October 2005, more than $40 million have been spent on the housing projects which are part of Saudi Arabia’s reconstruction plan initiated purely on humanitarian
grounds in Pakistan and Azad State of Jammu Kashmir. Saudi Arabia establish an institution namely “Saudi Public Assistance for Pakistan Earthquake Victims (SPAPEV)” that has completed 100 units in Bagh, AJK, 3000 pre-fabricated houses in quake-hit Muzaffarabad, 4000
in BalaKot to provide residential facilities to the earthquake affected. The project of 28 schools including 05 government educational institutions has been completed in the AJK quake-hit areas.
On February 18, 2019, former premier of the Pakistan Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Saudi Arabia and met with Saudi King Salman Abdulaziz al-Saud to boost the bilateral relationship. The visit of PM Abbasi along with COAS
Bajwa to witness the 24-country military exercise Gulf Shield 1 in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia showed Pakistan’s commitment and efforts against militancy and for regional peace, defense and
strategic policy.

In this time, more than 2 million Pakistanis are currently working in various jobs in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. These hardworking skilled and semi-skilled work-force have been significant contribution in building Saudi Arabia’s infrastructure and by managing various business sectors. Recent 2 days visit of Crown Prince Shah Salman Bin Saud, he pledges $20 billion in first phase. Saudi Arabia will make investment in the energy, power, petrochemical, mineral resources,
sports and many other sectors. Saudi investment will on one hand be a reason of the infrastructure development of Pakistan and probably on the other hand unemployment will also reduce. It will lead to shared prosperity, regional stability and mutual respect based on long term
investment, strategic and social ties. I don’t know the exact number of people who are prisoned in Saudi jails but the demand by the Pakistani premier Imran Khan to Shah Salman for releasing 2107 pensioners is appreciated all over the world by the Pakistani. Apart from this great demand, being a student, I am also demanding Mr. Khan to please review the situations of the pensioners who are in Pakistani jails. No doubt, the role of foreign office was observed better especially in
term of the relationship with Saudi Arabia. Crown Prince Shah Salman Bin Saud called himself as an ambassador of Pakistan in Saudi Arabia which is also one of big milestone by the recent government. According to the press released of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Islamabad, single entry visit visa fee reduced from 2000 Saudi Riyal to 338 Saudi Riyal and multiple entry visit visa fee also reduced from 3000 Saudi Riyal to 675 Saudi Riyal. A number of jobs opportunities for the Pakistani youth are also announced by the Prince Salman.
It is observed that there has been a drastic decline in foreign direct investment net inflows as a percentage of gross domestic product in Pakistan. The reason for this drastic decline was lack of economic vision, political uncertainty, terrorism, and a weak foreign policy. 
Long term investment, large-scale infrastructural development and private industrial ventures by different countries clearly signals Pakistan’s shift from a conflict linked state to a country taking
leadership on regional peace, stability and economic growth .It is a prime time to develop the economic and socio-political relationship with maximum countries. Our policy makers have to do more for foreign direct investment in Pakistan that will helps in transfer of technology, facilitates access to international markets and provides the local labor with the training and knowledge required to enhance their skills. Foreign trade and production are also influenced by the inward flow of FDI in the host country. For achieving this purpose effectively and efficiently, relevant ministries and institutions must be train and educate in proper way. In this way we can make Pakistan economically, politically and socially strong.

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