Riyadh, Islamabad & Green revolution

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Prime Minister Imran Khan appreciated Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts and its transformational “Green Saudi Initiative” and the “Green Middle East initiative” recently announced by the Crown Prince during a telephonic conversation between the two leaders. Both leaders reaffirmed the resolve to further strengthening the strong, longstanding Pakistan-Saudi Arabia fraternal ties. Prime Minister Imran Khan apprised the Crown Prince about Pakistan’s “10 billion Tree Tsunami” initiative, currently underway in the whole country, and its prospects to restore ecosystem and to combat climate change. Prime Minister reiterated Pakistan’s support for the Kingdom’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and reassured Pakistan’s willingness to strengthen cordial relationship with Saudi Arabia. As a response to the invitation, prime minister graciously promised to visit Saudi Arabia in near future. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia had enjoyed cordial relations over the decades. Pakistan had always given special importance to its relations with Kingdom due to its Custodianship of the Two Holy Mosques. The people of Pakistan have huge respect and auspicious sentiments toward Saudi Arabia and always seek a leading role for the kingdom in the Muslim world. However, during the recent years the relationship got sored due to lack of trust between two sides. Few months ago on the anniversary of the sorrowful events of August 5 in IIOJK, foreign minister, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, called Saudi Arabia to play its role in Kashmir issue and demonstrate leadership on the OIC platform. OIC was continuously silent over the siege of Indian Illegally Occupied Jammu and Kashmir by Indian forces over the period of one year. Saudi Arabia responded swiftly to Qureshi remarks and immediately recalled a $1 billion loan, part of a $3 billion loan it had given Pakistan in November 2018. Saudi Arabia also did not renew the $ 3.2 billion oil credit facility to Pakistan after its expiry. Although, Saudi Arabia displayed it’s anger over Pakistan Foreign Minister’s open comments, however later it took interest and played role in passage of resolution condemning Indian actions in IIOJK at OIC Ministerial meeting in Niamey, last year. After, the Biden administration recent steps in the Middle East region, Saudi Arabia set to reprioritize it’s foreign policy options. In the backdrop of changed geopolitical landscape, there are bright chances of realignment of bilateral relationship between two brotherly states in near future.