29 April 2015

Affairs & break-ups

Nawaz Sharif owes a huge debt of gratitude to the Saudi royal family... The Saudi monarchy rescued Mr Sharif from life imprisonment to which Gen. Pervez Musharraf had sentenced him in 1999.

To say that China and Saudi Arabia are the closest friends and biggest benefactors of Pakistan would be to stress the obvious. Nor can anyone deny that, but for Beijing’s consistent nuclear and missiles aid to, and the Saudi monarchy’s generous financing of, Islamabad’s clandestine nuclear programme there would have been no Pakistani bomb. The reason for mentioning these familiar facts today is an exquisite irony: the strikingly opposite manners in which Pakistan’s two mentors have treated their protégé during the last few days.

Arriving in Islamabad after several postponements of his visit, China’s President Xi Jinping gave such a big boost to his country’s strategic and economic relations with its “all-weather friend” that many were surprised but not those who have been duly watchful of the nuances in the relationship that is sometimes called “higher than the Himalayas and deeper than the Indian Ocean”.

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