This is apropos a letter to the Editor by this writer carried by the newspaper yesterday. Assuming this theory holds true, let’s consider the potential benefits for the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan, as well as the broader impact on the Middle East under these circumstances.

By leveraging Pakistan’s diplomatic influence, the US could advance dialogue with Iran to potentially de-escalate tensions in the region, achieve guarantees from Iran in lieu of restraining from imposing further economic and financial sanction on Iran to preserve the safety of the world supply chain, prevent Iran from using its proxies to escalate tension in the Middle East and protect Israeli interests in the region.

Saudi Arabia may view Pakistan’s diplomatic interlocution as an opportunity to mitigate regional tensions and foster stability in the Gulf, obtain guarantees of cessation of attacks by the Houthis in the Red Sea to ensure uninterrupted supply of its petroleum products, the mainstay of its economy, and prevent spread Israel-Hamas-Iran stand off to other parts of the Middle East which could have disastrous consequence for the entire Middle East and the world peace.

For Pakistan, acting as a mediator between the US, KSA and Iran carries significant diplomatic and economic advantages. It could enhance Pakistan’s regional influence and reinforce its position as a key player in Middle Eastern affairs. Moreover, attracting substantial investments from Saudi Arabia would bolster Pakistan’s economy and contribute to its long-term development goals. Reducing tensions between KSA and Iran and Iran and USA will pave the way for broader cooperation and confidence-building measures in the Middle East. It would enhance the diplomatic status of Pakistan which in the long run would help it to improve its financial and economic outlook.

If Pakistan effectively contributes to regional diplomacy and helps de-escalate tensions in the region and continue its policy of hand off from Israel-Hamas-Iran staff off, and succeeds in establishing a viable and sustainable communication channel between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the United States could be more inclined to support the release of the outstanding $1.1 billion tranche under Pakistan’s existing Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF and could pave the way for the approval of a new three-year IMF programme for Pakistan.

Above all, this will open the door for Saudi investment in Pakistan. The US might turn a blind eye as Pakistan and Iran finally complete the long-awaited gas pipeline, allow affordable power and oil to flow from Iran, facilitate the next rollover of Saudi and UAE deposits, and allow the IMF to enter into a long-term agreement with Pakistan.

Should this theory prove to be accurate, Pakistan is pursuing innovative and unorthodox diplomatic strategies during a global period marked by a convoluted geopolitical terrain.

Pakistan’s success in this creative and inventive diplomacy will be beneficial in a variety of ways. Pakistan will be able to overcome its diplomatic isolation and regain relevance by managing the most delicate and sensitive diplomatic maneuvering in the globe. It would ensure better possibilities for peace in the Middle East and smooth, risk-free exports of Saudi Arabia’s oil products. If this diplomatic move is successful, there is a greater chance that Israel and Hamas would reach a peace agreement, which would provide the Palestinian people some relief.

Qamar Bashir

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024


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