By Haider Abbas
When UAE announced the formalisation of ties with Israel on August 14, 2020, it was a gift to Pakistan and on its independence day, which also had ironically come , only ten-days when the fires of Beirut Blast, Lebanon of August 4, 2020 had not even doused, and which, had left around 200 dead and billions of USD worth property gutted. Lebanon Ex. Home minister Nohad Machnouk had openly accused Israel to have done it, informed AsiaTimes on August 13, 2020 1. Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) was the guiding force behind it as well as ‘normalisation’ of Bahrain with Israel. It had been a foregone conclusion that KSA would also follow-suit, as has now been disclosed by Israel Mossad Chief Yossi Cohen through JerusalemPost on October 25, 2020 2 that KSA-Israel are soon to open-up their ‘embassies’, after the November 3, 2020 US elections conclude. It can now nobody’s guess that all the 22 Arab-states are likely to reciprocate their ‘embassy-move’ with Israel, with the exception of Pakistan, Iran and may be Qatar.
The KSA-Israel normalisation had been well on the cards but the issue which stems from the ‘hubris’ is its fallout, with particular reference to Pakistan, as KSA crown prince MbS had in a fit of rage, after Pakistan signalled to distance itself from KSA over the issue of Kashmir on August 6, 2020, got his 1 billion USD loan be paid back from Pakistan, which Pakistan did with the help of China, as well has been deprived by the supply of oil on deferred loan from KSA. KSA added further humiliation to Pakistan as the amount of 1 billion USD which Pakistan returned was announced to be invested in Jio Fiber India- Pakistan’s rival country, revealed EconomicTimes on August 21, 2020 3. KSA humiliation of Pakistan did not stop then, as now the real portents of the love-affair between KSA-Israel has been uncovered, as KSA on October 24, 2020, informs ArabNews 4 , released a 20 Saudi Riyal Bank Note, to commemorate its presidency of organising G-20 summit on November 21-22,. 2020. The backside of the note is enough to leave Pakistan, KSA’s once most trusted ally, all aghast! The world map shown on the backside is bereft of Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Kashmir being a part of Pakistan. Kashmir is the territory which is under dispute between India and Pakistan from the past 70 years. A part of it is in Pakistan and a part is with India, and both the nations are on the boil, since August 5, 2019, when India’s PM Narendra Modi, removed Article 370 from JK&L which gave it a special-status, irking China too, and which, made China and Pakistan to drag the issue of Kashmir at UNSC for thrice in the past one year, detailed TheWire on August 6, 2020. China has staked its claim inside Ladakh and in Arunachal Pradesh as well as in Himanchal Pradesh inside India which India is ready to fight after it signs BECA with US. Pakistan had signalled to form a new bloc with Turkey, Iran, Malaysia, China and Russia and has started to look for avenues outside the dictates of US.
Hence, according to KSA official stand Gilgit-Baltistan and Kashmir are now to be independent nations. The move of KSA is a slap on Pakistan face which had released Pakistan new political map on August 5, 2020 (TOI) 6 and obviously which had made New Delhi called it as ‘political absurdity’ cited NDTV 7 , but KSA has its priorities which lay with India, as KSA is slated to invest 15 billion USD in Reliance Industries in India, as was announced by EconomicTimes on August 10, 2020 8 and on August 22, 2020, according to the same newspaper 9 it was given that KSA is looking forward to invest 60 billion USD in oil refinery in India. KSA’s coming investments in India coupled with an annulled Pakistan is surely nothing short of a ‘double-Diwali-blast’ which India must have been waiting for ages.
If India was to portray the world map in this form it may have been conceived as it is in conflict with Pakistan but is KSA also in conflict with Pakistan? Or else the agenda of Israel which is ‘too fixed’ to get Pakistan workforce and also its military involved in the KSA security apparatus, be evicted from inside KSA and later from the entire Gulf region, in order to starve Pakistan and bring it in its knees, is soon on the anvil too? India is already quite ready to replace the vacuum with its workforce. Thus, KSA, Israel and India are likely to have a ‘springtime’ in Gulf-region in the days to come.
The KSA annihilation of Pakistan, it may be mentioned, is definitely targeted more on China, as it is China which is to carve its CPEC through GB and it has been on China’s advice that Pakistan had recently announced GB to be its fifth-province, on September 17, 2020, where elections are scheduled to be held on November 15, 2020. And, it may be known that when India had decided to put on air GB weather report on May 8, 2020, as EconomicTimes notified, it made China see red, as it was then China took a stringent note and what has led to tensions grow-high between India and China as China construed the Indian move to be a spanner in its most coveted project i.e. CPEC.
The KSA step is nothing short to disgrace Pakistan, which also seem to be adapting to its new bloc. US is now to be against Pakistan and stand where India stands and KSA will help US, in order to finally contain China, which no wonder, has already made KSA to slide to its third biggest importer of oil, tells In.Reuters on August 25, 2020 11, which obviously, dented a blow to KSA economy, while KSA had from even before COVID-19 pandemic, engaged in an oil-war with Russia, which led to oil rates plummeting to a 17-years all time low, referred CNBC 12 on March 30, 2020, barely a few days when the lockdown had been imposed worldwide.
Let’s see what happens after US November 2020 elections are out. Is the world bracing for a new-world-order?
The writer is a former State Information Commissioner, India. He is a media analyst and writes on international politics.