What Is Saudi Arabia's Grand Plan for Pakistan?


What Is Saudi Arabia's Grand Plan for Pakistan?

Saudi Arabia's strategic use of aid and investment has heightened under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s influence.

For Pakistan, there is no escape from geopolitics, even when it comes to issues like connectivity and trade. And that is true in a global sense as well as the United States adopts a tougher posture toward the Belt and Road Initiative, digs deeper into a tariff war with China, and continues to use economic sanctions or lawfare to force Iran to capitulate.

Calls for Pakistan to become a “normal” state that puts its economic interests above its strategic are outdated, reflecting a view of globalization that is now passé. The economic and the strategic increasingly blur once again, thus making Pakistan’s ability to address its economic challenges even harder.

Arif Rafiq (@arifcrafiq) is a nonresident fellow at the Middle East Institute and president of Vizier Consulting, LLC, a political risk advisory company focused on the Middle East and South Asia. He is author of “The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor: Barriers and Impact” and editor of the CPEC Wire newsletter.

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