General Bajwa to visit Saudi Arabia to mend strained ties | Pakistan Today

General Bajwa to visit Saudi Arabia to mend strained ties

RAWALPINDI: Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa will visit Saudi Arabia on Sunday to discuss regional security issues and Kashmir dispute with the Saudi leadership, as diplomatic strains occur between Islamabad and Riyadh over the Kashmir issue.

Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director-General (DG) Major General Babar Iftikhar confirmed the visit while talking to a foreign news agency on Thursday.

“Yes, he [Gen Bajwa] is travelling,” the Pakistan Army spokesman told the foreign media outlet. He added that the visit is pre-planned and “primarily military affairs oriented”.

During the visit, General Bajwa will have meetings with top Saudi leadership.

The two countries are traditionally close and Saudi Arabia in 2018 gave Pakistan a $3 billion loan and $3.2 billion oil credit facility to help its balance of payments crisis. But Riyadh is irked by criticism from Islamabad that Saudi Arabia has been lukewarm on the Kashmir territorial dispute, motivating COAS Bajwa’s fence-building visit on Sunday.

Pakistan has long pressed the Saudi-led Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) to convene a high-level meeting to highlight alleged Indian violations in the part it controls. But the OIC has only held low-level meetings so far.

“If you cannot convene it, then I will be compelled to ask Prime Minister Imran Khan to call a meeting of the Islamic countries that are ready to stand with us on the issue of Kashmir and support the oppressed Kashmiris,” Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi told local media last week. Qureshi’s remarks angered Riyadh.

Last year, Islamabad had pulled out of a Muslim nations’ forum in Malaysia at the last minute on insistence by Riyadh, which saw the gathering as an attempt to challenge its leadership of the OIC.

Saudia Arabia had already made Pakistan pay back $1 billion two weeks ago, forcing it to borrow from another close ally, China, and Riyadh is yet to respond to Pakistan’s request to extend the oil credit facility.

The first year of the oil credit facility completed on July 9, 2020 and Pakistan’s request for an extension in the arrangement is under consideration with the Saudi side. Saudi Arabia is also asking for another $1 billion back.

Last Monday, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Admiral Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy called on the COAS. Matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and bilateral defence relations between the two brotherly countries were discussed during the meeting.


  1. Dr.M.M.Khan said:

    We want friends not masters! What wrong has the foreign minister done? He has called a spade a spade. He is frustrated at the lack of progress on Kashmir dispute. Saudi Arabia has given pakistan financial aid but has been always lukewarm on Kashmir. We should not forget KSA has had very friendly relations with India in contrast to Pakistan. One should remember the late King Fahad once called India as his second home! I sincerely hope the FM is not made a escape goat in this sad episode. Heis a principled politician. Remember the Raymonf Davis affair. He was demoted to minister for water affairs.

    • Sunbig2 said:

      @Dr MMKhan, beggars cannot be equals!!! Beggars always have masters. A country where chinese labourers beat up army personnel and yet the army personnel keeps quiet and the army itself does not respond ..shows who is master. Pakistan has china and Saudi as masters and if they anger even one, Pakistan will fail. So to claim equality when you have taken loans, grants , aid and what not, how can you even see Saudis in the eye. Saudi is also in FATF, meaning one more enemy of you take them on. Pakistan has no principles…and Pakistani politicians even less so. Most likely paki army under-estimated Saudi reaction and now Bajwa will go and fall at mbs feet and qureshi fired. Sunday or worst case, on Monday. That’s what will happen.

  2. sheep head said:

    There are Beggars and Beggars beholden at King’s feet! The reality is Saudis Kings, Pakis beggars!
    still confused sheep heads IK and Quershi?

  3. sheep head said:

    Last Monday, Ambassador of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan, Admiral Nawaf Saeed Al-Malkiy warned COAS to return remaining 2 Billion USD lying in paki begging bowl?

    • Dr.M.M.Khan said:

      I live in a country where sheeps are known for their confirmity. They follow their leader to the slaughter house. Pakistan does not quqlify to this discription and is a non confirmist. It demands respect, dignity and gets it. The relations between KSA and Pakistan are not seasonal. They have stood the test of times. Whole controversy started over the role of IOC viz viz Kashmir issue. It has proved to be a toothless body. It has only payed lipservice. Pakistan being one of founder members had every right to feel aggreived and protested. Either it should act or be dumped to the dustbin of history. It seems the sheep head has missed the point!

  4. Azmat Ali said:

    Pakistani Nation must know the meaning of dignity and prepare for the worst in days to come as israel is becoming arabian friend.

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