In the wake of honoring its personal proximity with the Saudi Royals and with the hope to seek a ‘piece of pie’ which President Trump brought there for the Arabs; PM Nawaz attended the Riyadh Conference. Following his failure to make a speech there, the national media lashed out criticizing government for rendering the country unimportant at such a platform. The critics claimed that the PM Nawaz was not given ‘due respect’ there which ultimately undermined the country’s international stature.
With payable respect, I differ a bit. There is a brighter side of the picture as well. To make a speech at the forum - whose hosts were the Saudis marking their hospitality for the US President - could have put Pakistan into a diplomatic labyrinth. How? Following assertions answer it:
· Now, when it is apparent that this conference was focused to counter the regional rise of Iran under the pretext of fighting terrorism; it would not have been wise for Pakistan to speak the tongue of this revived Saudi-US alliance.
· If PM had made a speech, it could surely have been difficult to keep it neutral and, even if was kept neutral; that could have offended both the host and the guest i.e. Saudi Arabia and the USA.
· Lastly, even if an impartial speech was made by PM in favor of the new alliance, the country could have risked its chance to reinvigorate relations with Iran.
Consequently, Pakistan representation at this forum was necessary to remain in good books of the Arabs and American big shots. But, its active participation could have jeopardized our neutrality, regional image and relations with Iran. So, what happened was a blessing in diplomatic disguise.