RIYADH/ISLAMABAD – After Islamabad returned $1 billion to Riyadh as the second instalment of a $3 billion soft loan, Saudi Arabia has now asked Pakistan to return the 1,400 years of history it has borrowed from the kingdom, diplomatic sources have informed The Dependent.
According to sources, Pakistan has been told that the history that was given to it by the Arab world in general, and Saudi Arabia in particular, was a loan that had to be returned, which Pakistani government officials confirmed that they were unaware of.
“It has been a consensus among all Pakistani governments, ours and the previous, that the Arab history given to us was a grant, not a loan,” revealed a senior government official.
“Now we’re being pressed to return the history, in order to start a new history with a country we’ve historically had no history.”
Analysts say it is unusual for Riyadh to press for the return of history, heritage and ideology which Saudi Arabia has aggressively exported over the decades. Pakistan has traditionally benefited Saudi in exchange for borrowing the identity and history. However, Islamabad now needs to look elsewhere to return what it has borrowed, with government officials confirming that the history would be returned in three installments.
“Out of the borrowed 1,400 years, the first 300 and the last 100 are the most important. We’re hoping to clear the middle 1,000 years at the earliest and then focus on the rest,” revealed a government official.
“Thankfully, Turkey has come to our rescue and is immediately giving us 700 years of its history, with another 700 to be added later. Hopefully we’ll repay the Saudi loan soon.”
A finance ministry official confirmed that work was already underway to ensure import ancestry and heritage from other countries, with the local history fabrication industry being incentivised to produce indigenous history.