Posted on September 30, 2018 at 3:00 PM
Recently, Pakistan invited Saudi Arabia as a 3rd "strategic partner" of the $64 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). This development was announced after the recent visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Saudi Arabia. The agreements were signed by Pakistan's finance ministry and Saudi envoy. Saudi's finance and energy ministers will visit Pakistan in the first week of October.
Fawad Ch said that more arrangement would be inked between a high-level Saudi delegation and Pakistani officials. The discussion will be related to Reko Diq’s gold and copper mines and the oil refinery at Gwadar Port.
During Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit, Saudi Arabian leaders including crown prince Muhammad Salman were eager to finalise the deal within days despite the months for materialising.
Information minister Fawad Chaudry said that Saudi Arabia is the first country that Pakistan has invited to join CPEC as 3rd CPEC partner.
The information minister said that UAE would also help in the provision of fresh water in Karachi, a delegation of UAE will visit soon in Pakistan.
The two sides of ministers signed three agreements which worth USD 16.1million for financing projects in the education and health sectors.
Saudi Arabia also announced a grant of 10 million for furnishing the King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz campus of POK
Before the joining of Saudia Pakistan invited other countries including the United States and Iran to join CPEC, while these countries did not accept the proposal to join CPEC.
Historically Saudi leadership has always offered Pakistan the financial assistance when Pakistan got into the crisis. During the 1990's Saudia gave Pakistan subsidies in oil imports and help Pakistan to survive Washington led sanctions on the country.
Saudia Arabia also supported during the 9/11 attacks when the USA blame Pakistan supporting Al Qaida. Pakistan has always offered military support to Saudi Arabia in fighting terrorism, training troops and defending Saudi Arabia.
While Pakistan is the major Saudi led 34 Islamic military alliance. Pakistan makes clear that "Pakistan will not be embroiled in any sectarian conflict which may cause serious security troubles for Pakistan as Pakistan is already facing terrorism for the last three decades.
This change of approach in Saudi Arabia as well in different countries was not well received as well Riyadh has a significant influence on Pakistan. UAE and Riyadh were astonished on neutral behaviour on Yemen and Syria issue. Saudi Arabia and UAE called it "Dangerous and unexpected" behaviour of Pakistan. There are two reasons for Saudi Arabia to join CPEC.
First, the Saudi Kingdom decision is to invest in the infrastructure project will surely offer it significant stakes in the Pakistani economy. Additionally, Saudi Arabia does, not want to deteriorate ties with Pakistan.
secondly, the approach of offering funds in the form of investments rather than loans means that Saudia is not going to offer financial assistance. on the other hand, the incoming investments from Saudia will give it much needed financial assistance and rise up its economic reserves. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are now entering in a new era where economic factors cause major effects on regions.