Why India's growing proximity to Saudi Arabia bothers Pakistan

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Narendra Modi's tour to Saudi Arabia may have many bilateral agendas, but it has also shaken the strength of Pakistan that thrived upon its religious closeness to Saudi Arabia.

Incidentally, economic and strategic opportunities are bringing India closer to the oil-rich global nations. And Modi being bestowed the The King Abdul Aziz Order , the Kingdom's highest civilian award, by the King Salman bin Abdul Aziz acted as icing on the cake.

Modi in Saudi Arabia

Evidently, a difference in opinion between the two Islamic countries is already growing them apart.

Terror Diaries

Although the birth place of slain Al-Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden, it is to be noticed that the latter was given asylum in Pakistan. Saudi Arab's take on terrorism has also changed from being a mute spectator to sending an army contingent to fight the ISIS.

[Read: Modi holds talks with Saudi King to boost strategic ties]

Pakistan too claims to support Europe's and the Middle East's stance of fighting terrorism. However, it needs to be remembered that the former is the den to some of the most notorious terrorist groups in the world. So much so that Pakistan ranks third on Global Terrorism Index.

Modi in Saudi Arabia

The study was conducted by London-based Institute for Economics and Peace, which stated that Pakistan saw a 37% increase in deaths and 28% increase in injuries since 2012.

[Read: Highlights of Narendra Modi's Saudi Arabia Visit]

The report also stated that death resulting from terror incidents in Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nigeria and Syria account for more than 80% of the total deaths from attacks. The report also claims that Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) has conducted 778 attacks between 2000 and 2013, of which 12% were carried out by suicide bombers. It is also said that Pakistan-backed Taliban has the highest number of fighters, estimated to be between 36,000 to 60,000.

Saudi Arabia's stance against ISIS and terrorism

When Pakistan has failed to answer anti-terrorism calls in the world, especially against ISIS, Saudi Arabia shares similar anti-terrorism ideas with India. Saudi Arabia has finally declared sending troops to Syria to fight the ISIS. Even though it came with much pestering from the US.

Modi in TCS

[Read: Modi's Saudi visit may unnerve Pakistan: US expert]

Aparna Pande, director India Initiative of the Hudson Institute, a top American think-tank said,"After years of considering Saudi Arabia as a major ally and economic benefactor, Pakistan may be on the verge of losing its erstwhile patron to archrival India. Modi arrived in Riyadh last week for an official visit full of diplomatic significance."

She further added,"Economic and strategic issues are bringing India and Saudi Arabia closer, just as they are working to the advantage of India with other countries."

Growing trade relations

The economic relations of Saudi Arabia and India have become economically more significant because of the involvement of USD 39.4 billion in bilateral trade in 2014-15. Pakistan-Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, a meagre contract of USD 6.1 billion.

Modi with business leaders

While India is the fifth largest importer of oil from Saudi Arabia, after China, Japan, the US and South Korea. "Or it could change its own approach to India and seek rapprochement to take advantage of economic and strategic opportunities that are making India a desirable partner for Pakistan's erstwhile friends," Pande said.

Losing out on its biggest financial supporter in Saudi, after USA, would be tad too difficult for Pakistan to handle. Religious and financial alienation would not only cripple Pakistan, but also create a less-appeaking picture of the country in the world. 

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