WSJ: Saudi Arabia Uses India to Balance Pakistan

Discussion in 'Foreign Relations' started by Singh, Oct 23, 2012.

  1. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    More evidence is emerging that Saudi Arabia is deepening its cooperation with India in cracking down on terrorism suspects, an important trend that has implications for Pakistan’s bilateral relationship with Riyadh.

    Pakistan is Saudi Arabia’s traditional ally in South Asia. Both are Islamic countries with majority Sunni populations. Saudi money has fueled the construction of hard-line religious schools in Pakistan that have helped foster Islamist militancy.

    But Saudi Arabia also has been moving closer to India, Pakistan’s nemesis in the region.

    The latest sign came this week as Indian authorities confirmed Saudi Arabia had extradited Fasih Mehmood, an alleged member of Indian Mujahideen, a local militant outfit.

    India earlier this year had sought an international arrest warrant for Mr. Mehmood, who is from Bihar and is wanted in connection with an attack in 2010 on a tourist bus in New Delhi and a stadium in Bangalore.

    Earlier in October, Saudi Arabia extradited A. Rayees, another alleged Indian militant.

    India’s Home Ministry said both men, who are in Indian custody, were not contactable. Mr. Mehmood’s family have denied he is guilty of any crime.

    The two extraditions have built on a trend begun in June, when Saudi Arabia extradited Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, an alleged Indian member of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based group blamed for the 2008 militant attacks on Mumbai that killed over 160 people.

    India and Saudi Arabia signed an extradition treaty in 2010, one of a series of recent steps aimed at strengthening ties. That came after a landmark visit to India by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al Saud in 2006, the first in decades.

    There are many theories for why Saudi is cooperating more closely with India.

    Some observers view Saudi policy as driven by worries about the inability of Pakistan to control its militant proxies. Those anxieties have heightened in recent years as militants have increasingly attacked Pakistani government and military targets.

    “There’s a genuine concern in the Saudi establishment that things may get out of hand,” said Naresh Chandra, chairman of India’s National Security Advisory Board.

    Talat Masood, a retired Pakistan army general, says Saudi Arabia, once itself a source of funds for Pakistan-based militant groups, now views its closer relationship with India as a way of forcing Pakistan to moderate its support for these groups.

    “The Saudi relationship is no longer a monopoly of Pakistan,” Mr. Masood said.

    Saudi Arabia also may be using the extraditions to cement its trading links with India, other analysts say.

    Saudi is now the largest supplier of oil to India at a time when New Delhi, under U.S. pressure, is cutting back its imports from Iran. Almost two million Indians are working in Saudi.

    For Riyadh, its ties with India offer another way to help balance the influence of Iran, a Shiite power that has historically rivaled Saudi for influence in the Middle East and South Asia.

    The U.S., concerned about the growing reach of Lashkar-e-Taiba after the Mumbai attacks, likely put pressure on Saudi to follow through with the recent extraditions, believes Ashok Mehta, a retired Indian army general.

    “These extraditions wouldn’t have taken place without some pressure from the Americans,” he said.

    A spokesman at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi declined to comment.

    The extradition of Mr. Ansari, the Indian militant sent home in June, was significant as he was allegedly travelling in Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport after escaping India. Authorities in India claim he was a senior member of Lashkar-e-Taiba and played an important role in the Mumbai attacks.

    Mr. Ansari, who remains in Indian custody, was not contactable. Local media reports say he’s currently in custody in Gujarat.

    Others say that, while important, the arrests don’t mean Saudi has ended its support for Pakistan. Stephen Tankel of the Carnegie Endowment for International Piece, noted in this July piece that Riyadh has not begun to extradite alleged Pakistani militants sought by New Delhi, only Indians.

    Mr. Chandra concurs. He pointed out that Mr. Mehmood, the alleged militant extradited this week, is accused of small scale attacks carried out in India. Getting Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to extradite Pakistani militants suspected of attacks on India will be the real test of deep-seated change, he added.

    Saudi Arabia Uses India to Balance Pakistan - India Real Time - WSJ
     
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  3. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    I think its more of balancing Iran than Pakistan..:confused:
     
  4. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    Why Indian journalist are always quick to adjudge on premature equations. Saudis still funds radicals, they still give free oil and aid to Pakistan, recently they handed out 100 million dollar urea Pakistan will use to grow more wheat and cotton and faction of it for IEDs:p.

    Sometimes I envy Chinese and Pakistani media who instead tipping others do propaganda to serve national narratives.

    Pakistan is KSA's religion laboratory, source of foot soldiers and would be buyer of off the shelf nukes after Iran declares herself equipped with the same. India leverages are good for nothing.
     
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  5. farhan_9909

    farhan_9909 Tihar Jail Banned

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    Pakistan and KSA relation are natural

    someone should mail this to the author
     
  6. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    by natural you mean Petro-Dollar Islam that destroys the Sufi-Islamic Fabric in the Indian sub-continent ?
     
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  7. bose

    bose Senior Member Senior Member

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    The more Pakistan tilts towards Iran, more close co operation from Saudi Arabia will grow... Pakistan wanted to stall the Abu Jindal getting in to India hand, but failed... A BIG Thank You to Saudi Arabia...
     
  8. blank_quest

    blank_quest Senior Member Senior Member

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    Actually India can balance Pakistan via Iran through Saudi Arabia and Saudi Arabia through Iran. India needs to push its Geo-Economic tilt to maintain the equilibrium.Nuclear power to S.A will just be a Military Balance but Economic Balance for Iran will always make S.A tilt towards India. No one can deny this even in dreams.
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    I don't know if it's India using the US and getting KSA to go against Pak interests.

    But all this coziness with KSA makes me wary though. I hope it does not lead to more free petro $$$ flowing freely to India which torments extremism. Indian govt should be very careful of Saudi remittance, investment and undue interest in any NGO in India.
     
  10. hit&run

    hit&run Elite Member Elite Member

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    The money will still pour regardless of our state's tranquility with KSA. It is to do with Indians living in KSA, remittances they send/earn and other influences they absorb during their stay. KSA do not need to harbour soles for their experiments, they already have heaps in India, waiting for a hoooosh.
     
  11. The Messiah

    The Messiah Bow Before Me! Elite Member

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    Saudis are hand behind pakis.

    We should consider them enemy also.
     
  12. maomao

    maomao Veteran Hunter of Maleecha Senior Member

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    I say, be careful with Saudis and other islamic nut-job nations in the world......Never trust a jihadi be it inside your country or outside! It's better to be 'safe / communal / bajrangi' than be 'sorry / secular / decapitated'!!
     
  13. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    KSA has oil. So does Iran. KSA has long supported Wahhabi extremism, of which India has been a victim. Iran, au contraire, has been rather pro India, only to be rebuffed under US pressure. Even if we set aside linguistic, ethnic, cultural, culinary, and literary links, friendship with Iran makes complete sense. While I do not suggest alienating Israel, it should be an Indian endeavour to bring about an understanding between Iran and Israel. This would not only check Israeli proddings and machinations to get the US to invade Iran, it will also help the US distance itself from being too supportive of KSA, now that buying from Iran would not be seen as a taboo, and KSA can be put in its rightful place.
     
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  14. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Actually in this instance it is not too hard to fathom why our netas and babus will sing the US tune. Most of them have a close family member studying, working or permanently staying in the West, mostly US. Plus, a fair amount of their ill gotten wealth is stashed there as well. All kinds of pressure can be brought upon these elements by choking these nerve points.
     
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  15. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    That is not true.

    Indian bureaucracy is and has been traditionally anti-west, which is paradoxical because the general populace is pro-west. There is a deep suspicion about US motives, and strong NAM type leanings.

    Regarding their ill gotten wealth, apparently they are bringing it back in increasing numbers every since 9/11.
     
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  16. jamesvaikom

    jamesvaikom Regular Member

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    Here the problem is KSA has more oil than Iran. Also shale oil boom may help America start exporting oil in next few years. Many Indian companies are investing huge money to explore oil in America. KSA will reduce funding terrorists when production in other parts of world increase due to shale oil boom.
     
  17. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Most bureaucrats or politicians of note have a son/daughter/brother/sister studying/working/living in the West. Many of them own assets overseas as well. So West has plenty of leverage over these guys, a few carefully chosen squeezes is all it takes in most instances.
     
  18. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    This is too simplistic a hypothesis. Could you give any examples, where India has bended over backwards because West threatened to freeze the illgotten wealth of the India bureaucratic or political elite ?

    From my understanding most of the money is in tax havens/offshore untraceable accounts which US can't touch or brought back via round tripping(look at Mauritius for eg) or invested in real estate.

    And if it was so simple to squeeze, then most of the dictatorial or rogue regimes would have been finished by now.
     
  19. uvbar

    uvbar Regular Member

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    i think this is pure business as saudis have shown intrest in indo-iranian policy of trade of oil with gold as its more stable than USD

    :cool2:
     
  20. uvbar

    uvbar Regular Member

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    my friend wikipedia is your friend


    Indo-Pakistani War of 1971 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    read the unofficial supporters of pak . i say we are in a era and state of no direct allies
     
  21. mayfair

    mayfair Elite Member Elite Member

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    Like I said, it is hypothetical scenario. My point was that there are enough ways to exercise considerable leverage over these folks due to this soft underbelly.

    I'll see if I can dig up any reports on this.
     

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