Pak-Saudi Relations and Indian Propaganda

By Agha Iqrar Haroon

Agha Iqrar Haroon is a Development Observer. His area of work includes Central Asia, South Asia and Eastern European regions . He is also Chief Editor of DND News AgencyDiplomacy is an art as well as a science of managing relations among friends and foes. 

In modern general meaning, Diplomacy is a consistent process governed by the concepts, rules and procedures and protocols.

A best Diplomacy is a set of institutions and international norms governing relations between states and international organizations and diplomatic representatives, in order to serve the higher interests (security and economic) and public policy, and documentation between the interests of countries by contact and exchanges and political negotiations and contract agreements and international treaties.

Today, Diplomacy is considered the key tool to achieve foreign policy goals to influence the foreign states and groups and enlist their support in various ways.

One of Classical definitions comes from a British scholar and Diplomat Sir Ernest Mason Satow who believes, the diplomacy is the use of intelligence and tact in the management of official relations between the governments of receiving countries.

This definition indicates that tact of management of official relations with other countries is core and focal point of the process of Diplomacy.

The recent statement of Foreign Minister of Pakistan Shah Mahmood Qurashi about Saudi Arabia regarding OIC and Kashmir issue radiated outlooks those gave a chance to enemies of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia to use and misuse this statement as an opportunity to strike historic brotherly relations between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

Of course India was the first to launch a propaganda campaign in media; claiming that there was a visible shift in Pakistan’s foreign policy under Prime Minister Imran Khan and Pakistan has antagonized Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries beyond rapprochement in an attempt to internationalize the Kashmir issue.

Unfortunate to say that a portion of Pakistan’s media got trapped into Indian-designed campaign and several articles appeared in traditional as well as social media claiming that Khan’s Government has been trying to adopt a foreign policy favoring close relations with Iran and Turkey by replacing Saudi Arabia as the core component of its (Pakistan’s) Foreign Policy.

Interestingly, the authors of the Indian propaganda campaign overlook a core point while designing the anti-Pakistan propaganda campaign regarding Pak-Saudi Relations— and this core point is the difference between the Foreign Policy and Diplomacy.

FM Qurashi’s statement can be called inappropriate and uncalled for but this was just a statement and FM Qurashi a number of times clarified that his statement had nothing to do with Pakistan’s Foreign Policy towards Saudi Arabia and stated that his statement was taken out of context.

This writer considers that the statement was a Diplomatic attempt or gesture to enlist direct support of gulf countries for the Kashmir issue but of course, a single statement does not (rather cannot) rule the Foreign Policy of any country.

We must remember that Diplomacy is often confused with Foreign Policy, but the terms are not synonymous.

Diplomacy is the chief, but not the only, instrument of foreign policy. The foreign policy establishes goals, prescribes strategies, and sets the broad tactics to be used in their accomplishment.

There is no doubt that the Pakistani public wishes proactive role of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) regarding the Kashmir cause but it is also a fact that OIC had been raising the Kashmir issue internationally and Riyadh had been among Pakistan’s strongest supporters on the Kashmir issue and the two had been allies for decades.

Being one of the strongest allies of Pakistan, Saudi Arabia understands the situation, and Indian propaganda has miserably failed to hamper Pak-Saudi relations, but the FM statement and consequently the Indian propaganda campaign gives an opportunity to responsible people dealing with Foreign Policy to understand that any unguarded statement about friendly and brotherly countries can provide a colossal deadly opportunity for enemies for creating (or at least trying to create) misunderstandings against Pakistan.