Emerging dynamics between India and Saudi Arabia: Impact on Pakistan

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Aadil Shafi Beig, Mohmad Aabid Bhat


Pakistan-Saudi Arabia relationship is defined by shared economic, religious and cultural beliefs, which has evolved over the period of time albeit with new set of challenges. On the other hand India’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has traversed a difficult path which was in reaction to growing closeness between its neighbour Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. The other factors being India’s strong ties with Soviet Union, and its recognition of Israel in 1950 which kept India away from developing strong ties with Saudi Arabia. Similarly, India does not enjoy very good relationship with Pakistan as the two neighbours have fought three wars over Kashmir issue, a territory claimed in its entirety by both the parties. However, over the period of time and because of the changing regional and global dynamics in the Post-Cold War period, India and Saudi Arabia have come closer to formulate ties with each other. The disintegration of USSR after the end of Cold War followed by domestic and economic compulsions forced India to vigorously pursue its goals towards the Gulf region. In this backdrop Modi government launched its ‘Middle East Policy’ and started its outreach towards the Gulf region, especially with three important countries, Saudi Arabia, Iran and Israel. The emerging dynamics between India and the Gulf countries provided them a chance to work on the bilateral relations and ‘de-hyphenate’ Pakistan. In this backdrop this paper will be an attempt to understand the growing rapprochement between India and Saudi Arabia and the subsequent effect of this relationship over Pakistan. 

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