Monday, February 19, 2018

Deep Analysis on Middle East In connection with Pakistan and India.

(February 16, 2018) Taking a major decision, the army on Thursday announced that it is deploying troops in Saudi Arabia under an existing bilateral security pact. “In continuation of ongoing Pak-KSA bilateral security cooperation, a Pakistan Army contingent is being sent to KSA on training and advice mission,” the Inter-Services Public Relations announced after a meeting between Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa and Saudi Ambassador Nawaf Saeed Al-Maliki at the General Headquarters, which was said to be about “regional security situation”. Gen Bajwa had earlier this month quietly visited Saudi Arabia, where he stayed for nearly three days and his only known meetings were with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Commander of Ground Forces Lt Gen Prince Fahd bin Turki bin Abdulaziz. This was his second visit to the kingdom in two months. Disclosing the size of the deployment for the first time since the decision was announced, Dastagir said a total of 1,000 Pakistani troops are being sent to the Kingdom on a training mission. He said 1,600 Pakistani soldiers are already stationed in Saudi Arabia. February 19, 2018 The defence minister attempted to assure Senate that the troops will not be deployed outside the Kingdom's territory, but Chairman Rabbani expressed a lack of confidence in the assurance, saying this information was already known. "The House is not satisfied with your response," he told Dastagir, while Senator Farhatullah Babar stressed that "all concerns remain despite the defence minister's statement". "Has a decision been taken to deploy troops at the border of [the southern Saudi province of] Sharura," he asked. The Senate chairman told the defence minister that he could not hide any information from parliament, and even offered him the option of briefing the Senate on the issue in detail in an in-camera session."[But] don't give us a lollipop... we are not children," Rabbani told him. However, the defence minister turned down the offer, stressing that he could not divulge operational details of the mission. References : Army says troops being sent to Saudi Arabia by Baqir Sajjad Syed (Dawn February 16, 2018) Govt refuses to divulge 'operational details' of Pakistani troops' deployment to Saudi Arabia by Nadir Guramani (Dawn February 19, 2018)

Pakistan army clarifies on sending troops to Saudi Arabia

Extremist organisations are of two types. There are organisations which have been killing Pakistanis and fighting against the state of Pakistan and other type includes those organisations which have not indulged in any act of terrorism but are blamed by India and US for terrorism in neighbouring countries. Although the Pakistan army is fighting against all those terrorist groups who are fighting against Pakistan yet in order to choke their reinforcements by preventing the ordinary civilians from falling into the hands of terrorists, we do require a counter narrative. For this purpose, certain measures have already been included in our National Action Plan. On the other hand there are certain proscribed organisations who are blamed for sending volunteers to fight against the Indian forces in Kashmir. We know that after 2004, when Pakistan had signed a US brokered agreement with India to keep the LOC calm, these organisations have not indulged in any jihadi activity. In fact most of the militant elements within these groups either formed Punjabi Taliban or joined hands with TTP to fight against Pakistan. The saner elements within these groups, under their erstwhile leadership, changed the name and started participating in relief and welfare activities within Pakistan. To the best of our knowledge these people are not involved in any violent activity but after having been included in the list of UN designated terrorist groups the international perception about these groups is creating problems for Pakistan. Our critics should realise that we neither have any cases against them in Pakistan nor India or US have provided any evidence to prove their allegations against these groups in any court of Law. These people cannot be hanged or thrown into prisons just to please India or US. They are Pakistani citizens and it is our responsibility to divert their energies towards productive and more transparent activities. Hence certain proposals for the de-radicalisation and mainstreaming of these groups were floated which I think are still under consideration with NACTA. Reference: In conversation with Lt Gen Amjad Shoaib: ‘Shouldn’t put all eggs in China basket’ (Pakistan Today SEPTEMBER 24, 2017 BY MIAN ABRAR)

 Swinging Pendulum of Amjad Shoaib on Saudi Arabia (Hum Sub - 12th Apr 2015)

A senior American diplomat who served many years in Saudi Arabia recalled his foreboding upon attending a training exercise at the kingdom's most prestigious military academy, in Riyadh: "It was hot, and I watched the cadets doing drills. The officers were lounging inside a suradiq"_—_a large pavilion—"with cold drinks, calling out orders on loudspeakers. I thought to myself, How many of these young men would follow and die for these officers?" The diplomat said he came away from his most recent tour in Saudi Arabia convinced that "it wouldn't take too much for a group of twenty or thirty fundamentalist enlisted men to take charge. How would the kingdom deal with the shock of something ruthless, small, highly motivated, and of great velocity?" There is little that the United States can do now, the diplomat said. "The Saudis have been indulged for so many decades.They are so spoiled. They've always had it their way. There's hardly anything we could say that would impede the 'majestic instancy' of their progress. We're their janissaries." He was referring to the captives who became élite troops of the Ottoman Empire. "The policy dilemma is this," a senior general told me. "How do we help the Saudis make a transition without throwing them over the side?" Referring to young fundamentalists who have been demonstrating in the Saudi streets, he said, "The kids are bigger than the Daddy." ♦ Reference: King’s Ransom How vulnerable are the Saudi royals? By Seymour M. Hersh Annals of National Security October 22, 2001 Issue The New Yorker, October 22, 2001 P. 35

Curious Case of Lt General Retd Amjad Shoaib's Memory Loss (DNA 25th Oct 2016 Channel 24)

Commenting over Quetta incident, one needs to keep in mind the geographical location of the city in general and Baluchistan in particular. There are external and internal factors for the incidents of terrorism in and around Quetta which is close to the porous Pak-Afghan border. Since Afghanistan is a hotbed of terrorism and enemy agents are active there for sabotage, it makes Quetta vulnerable for terrorism. The Afghan regime is also not willing to shoulder its responsibility in making the border secure. This adds to the responsibility of the government of Pakistan to be cautious and take as much measures as necessary to secure its bordering areas. However, lack of cooperation from the civilian government is adding to our woes. For instance, the military has requisitioned raising of 100 battalions of Frontier Corps for security of the bordering areas. However, the federal government has been dragging its feet for provision of funds for the same and to date only 20 battalions have been raised which are inadequate for the gigantic task of securing our borders. With this implementation speed, we would need another five years to get these battalions raised. Moreover, other border management measures including construction of gates at border postings, erecting of fence along the border and installation of electronic gadgets would take more time. On the diplomatic front, we are losing the narrative too. The civilian leadership has been reluctant to raise Pakistan’s case at international fora. While Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been publicly threatening Pakistan of dire consequences, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been reluctant to fight Pakistan’s case. Modi has delivered so many loose balls to Pakistan but we have failed to benefit. Modi has openly admitted Indian role in raising Mukti Bahini for separation of East Pakistan but we did not raise this issue at any international forum. On 15 AugustModi threatened Pakistan of Indian interference in Baluchistan and Gilgit Baltistan but our prime minister has been shying away from pinning him down. Pakistan has strong evidence in many issues from Kulbhushan Yadev to Raw’s role in subversive activities in Pakistan but the same was never raised by our prime minister at any forum. The second factor is the local sleeper cells and facilitators who help the foreigners carry terrorist attacks in Pakistan. The foreigner terrorists mostly come from Afghanistan and have no knowledge of Pakistani areas. Definitely, local facilitators provide them with shelter, weapons and information about the target. As you know, terrorists of Lashkar-e-Jhangvi Al Almi carried out the attack at Police training center in Quetta. Now this banned outfit has origins in South Punjab and interior Sindh. In South Punjab, areas like Jhang, Muzaffar Garh, DG Khan and Bahawalpur are hotbeds of LeJ terrorists while the same banned outfit has also facilitators and supporters in interior Sindh where many terrorist attacks have been conducted. However, Punjab’s chief minister has been refusing to allow Rangers to carry out operations in South Punjab while Sindh chief minister is reluctant to permit Rangers operation in interior Sindh. On the other hand, the international community blames Pakistan for terrorism but they never care how we are targeted by terrorist organisations. Our foreign ministry and civilian leadership have failed in presenting out case to the world. Despite the fact that India has been hurling open threats to Pakistan, we have not been able to hold India accountable. India is openly claiming to provide citizenship to Barhamdagh Bugti, the man responsible for so many terrorist attacks in Baluchistan. But our leadership is silent. Reference: “Our leaders have failed us” – An interview with Lt. Gen (R) Amjad Shoaib (Pakistan Today OCTOBER 30, 2016 BY MIAN ABRAR)

WikiLeaks: Saudi Arabia and UAE funding Terrorism in Pakistan

While the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) takes seriously the threat of terrorism within Saudi Arabia, it has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority. Due in part to intense focus by the USG over the last several years, Saudi Arabia has begun to make important progress on this front and has responded to terrorist financing concerns raised by the United States through proactively investigating and detaining financial facilitators of concern. Still, donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide. Continued senior-level USG engagement is needed to build on initial efforts and encourage the Saudi government to take more steps to stem the flow of funds from Saudi Arabia-based sources to terrorists and extremists worldwide. The USG engages regularly with the Saudi Government on terrorist financing. The establishment in 2008 of a Treasury attache office presence in Riyadh contributes to robust interaction and information sharing on the issue. Despite this presence, however, more needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources, often during Hajj and Ramadan. In contrast to its increasingly aggressive efforts to disrupt al-Qa'ida's access to funding from Saudi sources, Riyadh has taken only limited action to disrupt fundraising for the UN 1267-listed Taliban and LeT-groups that are also aligned with al-Qa'ida and focused on undermining stability in Afghanistan and Pakistan. UAE-based donors have provided financial support to a variety of terrorist groups, including al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, LeT and other terrorist groups, including Hamas. Washington agencies note, however, that they have limited information on the identity of Taliban and LeT donors and facilitators in the UAE. Hence there is limited information to be shared with local interlocutors. Nonetheless, the point can be emphasized that the UAE's role as a growing global financial center, coupled with weak regulatory oversight, makes it vulnerable to abuse by terrorist financiers and facilitation networks. Reference: Terrorist Finance: Action Request For Senior Level Engagement On Terrorism Finance Date:2009 December 30, 13:28 Canonical ID:09STATE131801_a

Saudi Arabia and India (Kamran Bukhari Stratfor)

Saudi-Indian ties have reached a new high with the arrival of an Indian Air Force (IAF) flying contingent at the King Fahd Air Base in Taif. The mission, comprising more than 100 high-ranking IAF officers and airmen onboard Sukhoi MKI fighter aircraft, C-17 Globe Masters, C-130 Super Hercules and IL-78 aircraft, landed in Taif on Sunday on the way back from the UK where they had taken part in a multinational exercise. “This is for first time that fighter aircraft from India have landed in Saudi Arabia,” said senior Indian diplomat Hemant Kotalwar at a press conference in Jeddah. “We want to express our thanks to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the support and cooperation that was extended to us during the visit,” said Kotalwar. According to Kotalwar, there have been frequent goodwill visits by the Indian Navy ships to the ports of Jeddah and Jubail. “We have also had transport aircraft transiting Saudi Arabia in the past,” he said. The significance of this particular event is that fighter aircraft from India have landed in Saudi Arabia for the first time. “This indicates the depth of our ties which have been on the upswing for quite some time and which have gained new momentum following King Salman’s visit to India in February 2014 when he was crown prince,” said Kotalwar. “It was during that visit that a bilateral cooperation agreement was signed lending a new thrust to the relationship.” The visit underscored the close defense ties between Saudi Arabia and India. Both countries regularly exchange high level delegations aimed at furthering cooperation between the two armed forces. Officers from both countries have been attending courses in their pursuit of shared learning. In recent months, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi publicly acknowledged and thanked King Salman for helping with the evacuation of Indian nationals from Yemen. “This is a robust testimony to the strength of our bilateral relations,” said Kotalwar. Wing Commander S. Joardar, who also addressed the press conference in Jeddah, said: “In our view, this is called the staging visit. We could have chosen to do this in any country in the region but we chose Saudi Arabia. That indicates the significance we attach to the country.” The contingent was led by Group Capt. A. Srivastava. “We had a wonderful time in Saudi Arabia and we were made to feel at home,” he said. Reference: SAUDI ARABIA Saudi-Indian defense ties soar SIRAJ WAHAB | Published — Tuesday 4 August 2015

Narendra Modi, India, Saudi Arabia and Israel - 1

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Saudi King Salman on Sunday during his first official visit to the kingdom, home to a large number of Indian workers and a major trade partner that supplies around 19 per cent of India’s crude oil imports. Modi’s visit underscored the major business ties between the two countries, despite Saudi Arabia’s historically close relationship with Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is traditionally India’s largest supplier of crude oil, and India is one of the world’s largest consumers of crude. Trade between the two countries reached $39 billion in 2014, according to a joint statement released after Modi’s meeting with King Salman. Two sides pledge to cooperate in intelligence sharing on terror financing and money laundering and to promote investments. Reference: Saudi Arabia, India sign five agreements (Dawn April 04, 2016) India and Iran on Saturday signed agreements, including Tehran leasing to New Delhi operational control of part of the Iranian east coast port of Chabahar for 18 months. The $85 million project, just 90km from Gwadar port, creates a transit route between India, Iran and Afghanistan, bypassing Pakistan. India is trying to develop Chabahar as a way to gain access to the markets of Central Asia countries as well as Afghanistan. New Delhi, Tehran sign agreements; Modi, Rouhani discuss peace in Afghanistan. Reference: India to get operational control of Iran’s Chabahar port (Dawn / Agencies Updated February 18, 2018) When Narendra Modi visited Abu Dhabi and Dubai last summer, the Pakistani daily Dawn wondered if the Indian prime minister had “stepped into the recent breach between Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates over Islamabad’s refusal to actively join the Yemen war?” The need for the question-mark was removed this week, with the announcement that Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Mohamed bin Zayed al Nahyan, will be the guest of honour at India’s next Republic Day celebrations. There are plenty of reasons for Modi to make Sheikh Mohamed his chief guest, not least the $60 billion in Indo-UAE trade, and the 2.3 million Indians who live and work in the Emirates. But the timing of the announcement made it especially piquant for Pakistan, for it came in the middle of New Delhi’s campaign to isolate Islamabad diplomatically in the aftermath of the Uri attacks. Reference: Come Republic Day and Pakistan will be squirming uncomfortably (Oct 05, 2016 by Bobby Ghosh Hindustan Times)

Narendra Modi, India, Saudi Arabia and Israel - 2

US President Donald Trump and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi embraced each other as friends and partners Monday, vowing to work more closely on combating terrorism, the war on Afghanistan and defence cooperation. The two leaders called on Pakistan to ensure that its territory is not used to launch terrorist attacks on other countries, a statement from the White House said. Trump and Modi also “called on all nations to resolve territorial and maritime disputes peacefully and in accordance with international law,” the statement said. Addressing a small audience at the White House following a bilateral meeting with senior members of their administrations, Trump said both the US and India have been affected by the “evils of terrorism” and the “radical ideology that drives them.” Reference: Trump, Modi call on Pakistan to stem terrorist attacks (Dawn AFP | AP | Reuters June 27, 2017) India-Israel ties Bilateral trade between the countries has skyrocketed from $200 million in 1992, when India and Israel established diplomatic ties, to $4.16 billion in 2016. But that remains far below Israel's nearly $40bn in annual trade with its largest partners, the United States and the European Union. Still there are irritants in the growing relationship. The build up to Netanyahu's visit was soured this month when India called off a deal to buy 8,000 anti-tank guided missiles from Israel's state-owned defence contractor Rafael. The Indian army and the government are discussing ways to revive the $500 million order, which was scrapped when the country's own state-run defence contractor offered to build similar missiles locally. Israel is a major weapons supplier to India, exporting an average of $1bn of military equipment each year, but Modi wants to end India's status as the world's top defence importer. Reference: 'Modi is a close friend of Israel': Netanyahu kicks off historic India tour in Delhi (Dawn AFP | AP January 14, 2018)

 Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran - 1


A strategy of using ethnic minorities to undermine Iran is flawed, according to Vali Nasr, who teaches international politics at Tufts University and is also a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Just because Lebanon, Iraq, and Pakistan have ethnic problems, it does not mean that Iran is suffering from the same issue,” Nasr told me. “Iran is an old country—like France and Germany—and its citizens are just as nationalistic. The U.S. is overestimating ethnic tension in Iran.” The minority groups that the U.S. is reaching out to are either well integrated or small and marginal, without much influence on the government or much ability to present a political challenge, Nasr said. “You can always find some activist groups that will go and kill a policeman, but working with the minorities will backfire, and alienate the majority of the population.” The Administration may have been willing to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was reason to believe that the groups had operated against American interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example, is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle East, told me. “The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al Qaeda,” Baer told me. “These are guys who cut off the heads of nonbelievers—in this case, it’s Shiite Iranians. The irony is that we’re once again working with Sunni fundamentalists, just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties.” Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks, are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists. One of the most active and violent anti-regime groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian People’s Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. “This is a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists,” Nasr told me. “They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture.” The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports, the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting from U.S. support. The C.I.A. and Special Operations communities also have long-standing ties to two other dissident groups in Iran: the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, known in the West as the M.E.K., and a Kurdish separatist group, the Party for a Free Life in Kurdistan, or pjak. The M.E.K. has been on the State Department’s terrorist list for more than a decade, yet in recent years the group has received arms and intelligence, directly or indirectly, from the United States. Some of the newly authorized covert funds, the Pentagon consultant told me, may well end up in M.E.K. coffers. “The new task force will work with the M.E.K. The Administration is desperate for results.” He added, “The M.E.K. has no C.P.A. auditing the books, and its leaders are thought to have been lining their pockets for years. If people only knew what the M.E.K. is getting, and how much is going to its bank accounts—and yet it is almost useless for the purposes the Administration intends.” REFERENCE: Preparing the Battlefield The Bush Administration steps up its secret moves against Iran. By Seymour M. Hersh Annals of National Security July 7, 2008 Issue (The New Yorker)

Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran - 2


ISLAMABAD Arrest of Jundallah leader Abdolmalek Rigi and his deputy Hamza during a flight from Dubai to Kyrgyzstan marks a lucky break for Pakistan, which has been long accused by Iran of hosting the terror group's ringleader, and offers an opportunity to ease the tense relations between Tehran and Islamabad. Iran, despite repeated denials by Islamabad, always alleged that the group operated from Pakistan's soil and that its leader Rigi was based there and carried Pakistan's national identity card by the name of Saeed Ahmed, son of Ghulam Haider. The militant leader had been educated at Karachi's Binnori Town seminary, which was school to many of the Taliban leaders. Rigi is believed to have camouflaged his nationalist movement in a sectarian colour to curry favour with Pakistani sectarian groups. Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who visited Pakistan in October following an attack on elite Revolutionary Guards in south-western Sistan-Balochistan province along Pakistan's border, is said to have handed over proofs of Rigi's travel to Pakistan. “We have documents that show (Abdolmalek) Rigi travels readily to Pakistan ... we are here to ask Pakistan to hand over Rigi to Iran,” Mr Najjar had said in a statement. Reference: Rigi`s arrest a godsend for Pakistan (Dawn February 24, 2010)

Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran - 3


The recovery of a Pakistani Computerised National Identity Card from the possession of Abdolmalek Rigi, an Iranian terrorist and head of Jundallah group, has put a question mark on the Nadra's “self-proclaimed secure” registration system. The card was recovered by Iranian security personnel when Rigi was arrested while travelling on a flight heading to an Arab country via Pakistan on Feb 23. The interior ministry claimed that it was a fake card, and not issued by the National Database Registration Authority. Iranian authorities are reported to have informed Pakistan about the recovery of the CNIC carrying photograph of Abdolmalek Rigi and sought an investigation into the matter, but the government did not make it public. However, the interior ministry had to issue its point of view only when a TV channel telecast the news about Rigi's identity card. The recovery of CNIC from the terrorist leader has thrown a challenge to security of Nadra's database and its official slogan “deception no more”. Reference: CNIC on Rigi lands Nadra into trouble (Dawn March 04, 2010)

Seymour Hersh- US is funding Al-Qaeda to counter Iran - 4


ISLAMABAD Tehran ramped up pressure on Islamabad on Friday to crack down on Jundallah, an Iranian terrorist group alleged to be operating from Pakistan, and hand over its leader Abdolmalek Rigi, claiming that Iran had documentary evidence of his travel to and from Pakistan. Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who arrived here on Friday at the head of a security delegation and with a clear demand from Tehran for cooperation against Jundallah, met his Pakistani counterpart Rehman Malik to discuss ways for jointly fighting the terror group. 'We have documents that show Rigi travels readily to Pakistan...we are here to ask Pakistan to hand over Rigi to Iran,' Mr Najjar said in a statement. Not much was revealed by either side about the outcome of the talks focussed on Jundallah -- an issue that has strained ties between the two countries after the weekend attack on the Revolutionary Guards in Sistan-Baluchestan province. Insiders said the Pakistani side had reiterated its desire to help Iran in the wake of the terror strike. However, it was made clear that the government could do little because of its limitations and its security forces having been overstretched by the operation in South Waziristan. The only help Mr Malik could offer was increased intelligence sharing and intensified border patrol. 'Pakistan is committed to eliminating terrorism and it is imperative that Pakistan and Iran work in harmony for peace in the region,' he said. Mr Najjar was reportedly very categorical at the meeting, telling Mr Malik that a row over Rigi was 'not in the interest of the two countries' good neighbourly relations'. According to sources, Iran proposed coordinated operations in the border areas to eliminate the group. But Pakistan did not appear to be amenable to the proposal. Reference: Iran asks Pakistan to hand over Jundallah chief Rigi (Dawn October 24, 2009)

Allama Tahir Ashrai, Foreign NGO and Saudi Arabia

In a wide-ranging discussion with visiting SCA Assistant Secretary Boucher, President Zardari expressed complete satisfaction with his just concluded visit to China, reviewed planning for the Friends of Pakistan, and reiterated his determination to press the fight against extremism and the militancy in the tribal areas. He linked his ability to sustain the counter-insurgency fight to progress on addressing Pakistan,s economic woes, however, and chastised the IMF for only wanting to &take away8 in its negotiations. Zardari alerted Boucher to Iran's offer of concessional oil for Pakistan, an offer he did not believe he could refuse. Boucher reminded him of the Deputy Secretary's recent caution not to allow Iran to gain a toehold in Pakistan. In an aside, Zardari mentioned that Iran has offered to provide Pakistan with concessional oil. How could he go to the National Assembly and tell them Iran had offered the assistance and Pakistan had turned it down, he asked rhetorically. Boucher reminded him of Ambassador Haqqani's recent conversation on this issue with Deputy Secretary Negroponte in which the Deputy cautioned against providing Iran with a toehold in Pakistan. Reference: 2008: Do not to allow Iran toehold in Pakistan: US (Dawn May 23, 2011) -----> WikiLeaks on Saudi Pakistan Ties (Read Saudi Arabia's Influence in Pakistan's Internal Matters) "We in Saudi Arabia are not observers in Pakistan, we are participants." He asserted that the Saudi government (SAG) had offered Sharif a pledge of protection and asylum in the Kingdom after his ouster by Musharraf in return for a promise that he would refrain from political activity for ten years. He added that Sharif had begun to attempt to test the limits of this promise five or six years in his exile. "Sharif broke his promise by conducting political activity while in the Kingdom," al-Jubeir charged. He added that when the SAG had permitted Sharif to travel to London, he first promised the Saudis not to engage in political activity or return to Pakistan, but he then flew to Pakistan from London in a direct violation of his commitment. Al-Jubeir expressed considerable "disappointment" in Sharif's broken pledges to the SAG. He stated very clearly that the SAG has worked directly with Musharraf to have Sharif arrested on his return to Pakistan and immediately deported to the Kingdom. "We told Musharraf that we would receive him back and then keep him here as an 'honored guest'," al-Jubeir said. He added that Prince Muqrin had been the SAG's point man in restraining Sharif. Prince Muqrin was allowed to reveal the terms of Sharif's asylum agreement, he noted. Al-Jubeir made it very clear that the SAG would seek to control Sharif's movements in he future, even suggesting that he would be kept in a state only a little less severe than house arrest. Al-Jubeir added that he sees neither Sharif nor former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto as a viable replacement for Musharraf. "With all his flaws," he said of Musharraf, "he is the only person that you or we have to work with now." He claimed that Sharif would be unable to control the Pushtun-dominated Islamic insurgency in the tribal region near Afghanistan, while Bhutto would prove to be too divisive a figure to rule the country, which he characterized as "very tribal, much like our own country." Al-Jubeir added that for the SAG, stability in Pakistan is an essential strategic matter. Since Pakistan possesses both nuclear weapons and delivery vehicles, from the Saudi point of view, the policy choice to be made there boils down to a drastic choice: "We can either support Musharraf and stability, or we can allow bin Laden to get the bomb, "he told the Charge'. Reference: US embassy cables: Saudi influence in Pakistan Wed 1 Dec 2010 WikiLeaks cables: Saudi Arabia wants military rule in Pakistan by Declan Walsh in Islamabad Wed 1 Dec 2010

Geo economics of Saudi Arabia’s NEOM project


The ambitious Saudi NEOM project on the Red Sea near the Gulf of Aqaba worth nearly $500 billion will involve linking Saudi with Egypt. In exchange for billions of dollars of aid, Egypt recognised Saudi sovereignty on the disputed Tiran island in Gulf of Aqaba that will allow road-rail connections between not only the two countries but also with Jordan. That being said, since Israel's southern port of Eilat on Gulf of Aqaba is guaranteed open access to Red Sea since 1974 Camp David Peace Accord with Egypt, Saudi NEOM project will involve Israel in major capacity in order to avoid tensions. This project can then normalise Saudi recognition of Israel if it works. References: CaspianReport is creating reports Introducing NEOM, The 500 Million-Dollar, ultra-high tech future mega-city of Saudi Arabia 

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