IN­TER­NA­TIONAL

Strong­man Pol­i­tics The Turk­ish na­tion needs strong po­lit­i­cal par­ties in­stead of a strong­man call­ing the shots.

Southasia - - CONTENTS - By Taj M. Khat­tak

The Saudi For­eign Min­is­ter Saud Al-Faisal’s vis­ited Pak­istan to usher in a new phase of strate­gic re­la­tions be­tween the two coun­tries through in­creased co-oper­a­tion in eco­nomic, trade, in­vest­ment, en­ergy, in­fra-struc­tural de­vel­op­ment and hous­ing. The visit came soon af­ter some im­por­tant de­vel­op­ments in the re­gion, like progress in the U.S.Iran dead­lock and cool­ing down of U.S.-Saudi re­la­tions which, up till now, had been of an en­vi­able na­ture. This, along with the chang­ing for­tunes in the Syr­ian civil war, has al­ready caused sig­nif­i­cant move­ment in the tec­tonic plates of the Mid­dle East pol­i­tics.The quan­tum of an­nual bi­lat­eral trade be­tween Pak­istan and Saudi Ara­bia is at $ 5 bil­lion while re­mit­tances from Pak­istani ex­pa­tri­ates crossed $ 2 bil­lion in 2011. Dur­ing the visit, the two sides worked on how to im­prove these sta­tis­tics and agreed on as­sis­tance for eco­nomic sta­bil­ity through in­vest­ments in the lo­cal en­ergy sec­tor, trade and ex­port of skilled and semi-skilled man­power to the King­dom. Saud Al-Faisal also brought a spe­cial mes­sage from King Ab­dul­lah for Pres­i­dent Mam­noon Hus­sain, the con­tents of which have not been made pub­lic.

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