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Bad Saudi vibes

Updated Jan 31, 2015 10:32am


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THIS last week witnessed the gathering of the great and the good in Riyadh to pay their respects to the recently departed King Abdullah, and to suck up to King Salman, the newly crowned monarch.

Next month, many of these same worthies will meet in Washington to discuss measures to counter terrorism.

How many lives have to be lost before Western leaders finally connect the dots between the Wahabi/Salafi ideology being pumped out by the desert kingdom and the killing fields of Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan?

It was no coincidence that many of the 9/11 suicide bombers and planners, as well as Osama bin Laden, happened to be Saudi citizens. Over the years, a large body of evidence has been built up by diplomats, journalists and intelligence agencies pointing to the nexus between jihadi terror and extremist elements in Saudi Arabia. And yet King Abdullah’s death is being considered a huge loss.

In his tribute, President Obama went so far as saying of Abdullah’s deeds: “They will outlive him as an enduring contribution to the search for peace in the region.” Really? Since when has the architect of a project that has destabilised much of the Muslim world deserved such accolades?

Saudi support has blocked change in the Middle East.

In 1924-25, Ibn Saud, the founder of the current Saudi dynasty, defeated the Hashemites and seized control of Saudi Arabia with the help of the British. According to contemporary accounts, over the next seven years or so, tens of thousands were killed, many more had a limb amputated and up to a million fled Saudi Arabia.

So when we deplore the actions of the Islamic State, we need to remember who provided them with a model for conquest. And when we are repulsed by their public beheading of prisoners, we need to keep in mind the fact that on Fridays, those given the death penalty by Saudi Arabia’s opaque and draconian legal system are decapitated in public squares.

In a Faustian pact, the Saudi monarchy is left unchallenged by the country’s ultra-conservative clergy, provided it does not try and bring the country out of the 7th century. Meanwhile, millions of dollars are sent from private and public sources to madressahs in mostly poor Muslim countries.

Saudi Arabia, among some other Arab states, also funds mosques in Western cities where many clerics, whose salaries are reportedly paid by Riyadh, preach hate against the West and non-Wahabi sects. While the official Wahabi clergy stick to a literalist, joyless interpretation of Islam, they overlook the injunctions against rule by despots. They have thus provided the Saudi royal family with a spurious legitimacy in exchange for the tight control they wield over internal social policy. The royal family and the clergy are in a symbiotic embrace that has made them a barrier to change.

With an army of some 7,000 princes to keep in style, the House of Saud has a strong incentive to maintain a lucrative status quo. This creates their leverage with Washington, London and Paris: with the world’s biggest oil reserves, Saudi Arabia has been ensuring a steady supply of oil to the global markets.

The other factor that keeps leaders like Obama and Cameron onside is the rich market for arms the kingdom has become over the years. These purchases, often accompanied with allegations of vast bribes, generate jobs as well as obscene profits.

Finally, the ‘stability’ repeatedly evoked in the recent eulogies to Abdullah refers to his role in leading the fight to roll back the Arab Spring. From Egypt to Bahrain, it has been Saudi money and political support that has blocked change. Simul­tan­eously, however, Saudi Arabia has also reportedly financed extremist rebel groups in Syria.

But there are signs that the Saudis are losing some of their leverage in Washington. When Obama decided against launching an attack on Syria, it was a big setback for Riyadh. For King Abdullah, it was a humiliating reminder that his country is no longer the highest American priority.

Another reality check came when Obama refused to be led into an Israeli-inspired attack on Iran to destroy its nuclear programme and ambitions. A senior Saudi had been quoted in a leaked US diplomatic cable urging the Americans to “cut off the serpent’s head”.

But Saudi support for General Sisi has been directly helpful to Israel as Egypt has acted vigorously against Hamas, shutting down virtually all the tunnels that had been a lifeline for the beleaguered Palestinians virtually imprisoned in the tiny enclave of Gaza.

Thus far, the Saudi government has bought off its people by giving them huge subsidies and many free services. But with falling oil prices, it may not be able to forever bribe the young to stay quiet. Its Shia population in eastern Saudi Arabia is growing increasingly restless under unending discrimination and repression. And no system, even one as backward as Saudi Arabia’s, stays static forever.

Published in Dawn, January 31st, 2015

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The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (141) Closed

BRR Jan 31, 2015 02:03am

The writer is spot on, and his anguish is well appreciated by thinking minds.

Very few Pakistanis will even try to understand, nor attempt to acknowledge, such harmful and dangerous behavior of the Saudis. To most pakistani and muslim indians, especially those who come back from working in Saudi Arabia - despite the racist discrimination these people suffer while in KSA.

Hassan Jan 31, 2015 02:08am

The Stone Age did not end for lack of stone, and the Oil Age will end long before the world runs out of oil. Unless the Saudia reforms itself, the future looks very dark for Al Saud Monarchy....

Larkanavi Jan 31, 2015 02:32am

Great analysis. Saudi Arabia is a holy land for all Muslims and shall always remain so. However, Saudi monarchy is not sacred. This is the difference that one must understand. Sadly, in Pakistan, when someone criticises Saudi rulers, people do not like this for the simple reason that they are unable to differentiate between the country that is Saudi Arabia and the rulers of that country. It is high time that this distinction be made clear to all Muslims. I appreciate the author's attempt at highlighting the dark side of Saudi funding to madressahs all over the world.

Rahul Jan 31, 2015 03:57am

Great article! Pakistanis are among the biggest victims of the House of Saud.

Zia Haider Jan 31, 2015 03:59am

I am so glad, finally some one in the Pakistani Media had guts to say openly, what every one says in private. All our journalists always hide the Saudi sins and never expose their financing of all the killers in Pakistan.

good job, Irfan. Keep it up.

Muzaffar Ali Jan 31, 2015 04:07am

Thank you Dawn and thank you Irfan Sahib, for showing the true face of the Saudi's.

There is a Universal Principle which goes like this:

"When nothing changes, nothing changes"

majid Jan 31, 2015 04:28am

A great read.thanks

indus Jan 31, 2015 04:39am

Mr Irfan: You are a great human being. Love you for being so realistic. I look forward to reading your views. I hope you live long to serve the humanity.

oil Jan 31, 2015 05:51am

The oil trade was why Saudi Arabia kept as allies. Saudi royal family biggest customer of wall street and US bonds and keeps the USD strong. keeps wall street pay checks. Saudi Arabia was nothing before cheap oil was discovered in the 1950's

newsroom Jan 31, 2015 05:56am

Money and religion is what keeps the gov't together. the saudi royal family supports the sunni clerics because they support the royal family. and support US cause US supports militarily...saudi invest in US bonds and market with USD payments. MONEY and RELIGION is what keeps the status quo they say most dyanasties don't last more than 3 generations

Faisal Jan 31, 2015 06:04am

As a practicing geologist working in the industry for over a decade, I can tell you this: The days of oil driven power and hegemony are now over. Shale extracted oil and gas will make the Americans self sufficient in energy requirements within a few years (if not just months). Middle East, therefore will no longer be a critical ' National Security ' weak-link. The only game-plan for the U.S would be to counter Chinese influence.....and we all know its too late for that! Oil made the middle-east what it is today....ironically, it may well end it all in just a few short years.

Kumar Jan 31, 2015 06:21am

Why is the onus of containing radical Islam thrust on the West? Why isn't there a mechanism of introspection within Islamic power-bearers? The trouble is there are very few statesmen in the world today on either side of the ideological fence.

Omar Khayyam Jan 31, 2015 07:29am

Great article. Irfan Sahib, I read your work whenever Dawn publishes it. It is a real pleasure to encounter such fine analysis anywhere. You strip away the chaff and nobly present the grain of your topic. Please keep on writing.

kanakasabhai Jan 31, 2015 08:57am

Irfaan Saheb is one people look forward to for his next column. He always calls a spade a spade. This article is what every one is aware of but to write. Saudi royalty has big money and it is money money for every one else.

Jalaluddin S. Hussain Jan 31, 2015 09:13am

It is high time to find out the real source

Avtar Jan 31, 2015 09:20am

Irfan Sahib my analysis is exactly similar to yours on Saudis. Iran, like KSA, does not have respect for human rights, is an Islamic state. The only difference is that after the hostage taking of Americans by Iran, no Western weapons are sold to Iran. The Western countries have put up with double standards of KSA. and its fostering of Wahabi related conflicts and tensions.

Hopefully, one day the House of Saud will learn.

Sakina Qamar Jan 31, 2015 10:15am

Spot on. I wish such analyses could be published in Urdu newspapers so that a wider audience could be reached. The sooner we understand this, the better.

irad Jan 31, 2015 10:30am

I doubt even a best non-Muslim analyst would have done a better analysis which dictates the relationship between Saudi ruling elite and the West. They are re-emerged twins of a cursed past, who are bent upon bringing bad name to Islam.

SharifL Jan 31, 2015 10:48am

This bit about falling oil prices needs clarification. Prices are falling because SAUDIS have helped prices fall to please those western powers to decrease inflation in their countries, at the cost of saudi economy.It has earned far less for the last months on sale. But what do you expect from a dictatorship which does not need the suppport of its people. And west supports this ruthless regime which treats its minorities and women like cattle. It appears USA ignores human rights concerns as long as the country follows its diktat.

illawarrior Jan 31, 2015 10:55am

The west connected those dots long ago. It is not that they are unaware of Saudi's role, however, as the article is quick to point out, there are the issues of oil and weapons, and these are what are responsible for the west's inaction.

iqbal carrim Jan 31, 2015 11:01am

Somehow ,western hypocrisy gets always caught up by truth but it is wealth not moral that matters for them.

Sampath Jan 31, 2015 11:40am

I thank the learned author for the article but I want to ask in the turmoil that is going on in the middle east today how can the west oppose the Saudi Arabian monarchy. Really who will they support ? IS? Answer no option but ....

Nadeem Jan 31, 2015 11:42am

After 1924, the erstwhile allies called "ikhwan" (or Muslim Brotherhood) were ruthlessly eliminated by the House of Saud.

Cyrus Ho Jan 31, 2015 11:47am

Gamal Abdul Nasser tried to create a pan Arab confederation. He failed. Saddam Hussein was a Bathist trained as an assassin and spy by the East German communists. The Bath party never got together outside their own respective countries to cooperate.

Nasser believed Saudi Arabians, Libyans and the king of Kuwait would be willing to share their oil wealth with poorer Arab brothers. Very idealistic, but hardly realistic. Frankly the Saudi royal family does not have a solution for Middle East tensions and in fighting They don't need one. They are doing just fine.

Through the passing centuries the religion of Islam has been written in stone. No changes in viewpoint are forthcoming.

Parvez Jan 31, 2015 11:59am

You could not be more right or more clear.........excellent. What is so distressing is that a country as self sufficient as Pakistan has been brought to a position of a vassal state of Saudi Arabia simply because of the greed of its leaders.

saz Jan 31, 2015 12:50pm

Western countries and US are supporting Saudi monarch just because currently they all are in same boat. And these states are busy in same activities of spreading terrorism across the world. If Saudis are finding them and providing clerics to recruit us nato alliance is providing training and strategic planning to execute such attacks and ruin established states like Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan and Afghanistan, Behrain and Nigeria etc. Hence they are together until their interests are the same. When their interests would differ or when Saudis will no longer be needed US will not give even second thought before dumping them exactly as what happened with Zia ul Haq and Saddam. This is great article. Dawn and the author should be congratulated. The identity of authors should be kept hidden in order to protect them and to provide them in a country where journalists are under attack and where there is poor tolerance level and insight exist among masses. May God protect the author. Amen

masood a.syed Jan 31, 2015 12:54pm

Bravo Irfan Bhai,Bravo ! I am elated and impressed ,that ,finally some one in Pakistan has the courage to tell the truth .! This is a start, If these truths go unheard ,we can expect Pakistan and its people to suffer in daire despair,with no hope to recover ! Unfortunately in 68 years we have not produced a single sympathetic leader to the nation,and as long as we have friends like saudis ,we never will, because ,Wahabis /Salafis are not interested in progress and education . Just imagine PIA had about 30% Fake degree holders among its ranks and some say its about the same number in our National and provincial assemblies,can any body guess the number of Fake degrees in the Government itself ?.my guess is close to 50% ,then what progress ???

taemoor Jan 31, 2015 01:16pm

Lovely Article. There was one point though which was left untouched. That is the saudi persistence in OPEC to maintain oil supply despite falling oil prices. That goes directly against the interests of US and other Oil producers. Do you think it is an open message from Saudis to US. After all it does make a bad impact on countries like US and Canada.

Imtiaz Piracha Jan 31, 2015 01:50pm

Straightforward and bold statement hitting the bull’s eye. What makes me wonder is that what took us so long to muster the courage to speak up the truth.

After my first trip to Saudi Arabia back in the 1980s, I remember writing about their attitude and discriminations towards Pakistanis and others, as compared to the Westerners, but no one published them! It was a taboo. I guess it is better late than never, while hoping that it is not too late.

amjad Jan 31, 2015 02:28pm

Excellent Article!

muhammad farooq Jan 31, 2015 03:32pm

I have always admired Irfan Ali for his writings. To say (proverbiallly speaking) that king is naked requires one to be as sincre and innocent as a child in that story.

We should stop pretending. We should start seeing the light. We should be able tobdifferentiste between the right and the wrong. This will enable us to take right decisions and act in the best interests of Pakistan. I hope the voice raised by Irfan Ali will be heard by all.

G Vishwanath Jan 31, 2015 03:51pm

My own thoughts. Better expressed. Stay safe! I am worried for you. Regards GV

Nasser Jan 31, 2015 04:16pm

Absolutely hit the nail on its head - thank you Dawn and thank you writers like Irfan Hussain! May one day the Saud family and their likes are brought to the international courts for terrorism and punished; Ameen!

Tranquil Jan 31, 2015 04:18pm

@BRR agreed dear

Tranquil Jan 31, 2015 04:18pm

@Rahul Finally Indians are getting it whats wrong with Pakistan,

Farzana Jan 31, 2015 04:23pm

West does not want Muslims to be free of their despotic rulers.They know most Muslims are moderates.It serves them to have corrupt ,inept people at the helm of these countries who do their bidding.

jehangir Jan 31, 2015 04:25pm

Thank you "The Dawn" for the courage to publish this- thank you Irfan for such an insightful analysis.

Ram Jan 31, 2015 04:27pm

excellent analysis - quodos to Irfan Ahmed saheb - this is what all god fearing people should do - put an end to this meaning less killings - mindless propagation of hatred towards all others - bring sanity in the religious scholars utterances - make people understand the value of peace while living - not R I P after the death

Azmeen Jan 31, 2015 04:37pm

Saudi leaders must set their own house in order so that people stop thinking like the author of this article.

Realist Jan 31, 2015 04:42pm

I always wonder what would be the name of the country once the Saud family is gone. It can't be 'Saudi' Arabia.

Adnan Turab Ali Jan 31, 2015 04:48pm

what a brave article. a true picture of Saudi Arabia.

mind blowing.

saeed Jan 31, 2015 04:48pm

the nexsus has been u.s.a.,,shah iran,,saudia ,pakistan,,the policies have been endorsed by the is history

Atam Vetta Jan 31, 2015 05:19pm

Today, when Iran and the KSA are coming closer against terrorism and even India, a well known ally of Iran, is coordinating its intelligence activities with the KSA, it is perhaps better not to invoke the past and look at the future when the war against terrorism will be led jointly by Iran and the kSA. Anyone who thinks it is pipe dream should wake up to the emerging realities especially in Iraq.

Faizan Ali Jan 31, 2015 05:20pm

Great analysis! worth reading!

Jatt Jan 31, 2015 05:36pm

I do not agree, the reason is that no one is compelling us to accept what the Jihadis say, we accept it ourselves and act upon it ourselves. The fault is only our own and our Governments whose job was to provide education for it's citizens and education requires critical thinking and once we develop this tool no mulla can manipulate us. Our Government never allowed the people education and left them vulnerable. The solution is education with critical thinking and no more rote learning please.

Anil Jan 31, 2015 05:46pm

An Excellent analysis by Irfan Saab. Thanks

Ocelot Jan 31, 2015 06:18pm

Great article. The trio (Indian, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) should join forces and teach these Saudis some lesson!

zafar Jan 31, 2015 06:32pm

Ah so now we have found another country to blame are troubles on.

kumar Jan 31, 2015 06:46pm

Irfan bhai very well written article. I have been saying that for long time that root of terrorism is Saudi money , Saudi rulers, and and Saudi version of Islam. It is better for Pakistan move away and get back to its roots of Islam which is moderate with Sufism.

Avtar Jan 31, 2015 06:49pm

@Farzana You may not be right here. The issue is that the ruling elite will like to stay in power, no matter who supports them, West or East. The policies of KSA support countries like Pakistan who supply them with cheap labor (hence no proper education for the majority), ruling elite gets grants and it is interests of feudalsto have cheap labor to work in the sugar, textile and agriculture related industries. It was like this in England and most colonial countries.

jo Jan 31, 2015 07:03pm

The whole world know it. You have just articulated the truth. Thank you.

Hasan Jan 31, 2015 07:22pm

very well written Mr. Husain... keep it up

MQ Jan 31, 2015 07:23pm

Insightful article.

Rajeshwar Katta Jan 31, 2015 07:45pm

I am an Indian, but have to salute the likes of Hassan Nissar, Pervez Hoodboy, Irfan Hussain +++ in Pakistan. I have to admit I did not think much about Pakistan media till I started reading Dawn on a regular basis.

Kudos, keep it up !!!

arjun Jan 31, 2015 07:47pm

Excellent and courageous analysis. The days of the house of the Sauds are indeed numbered. Isreal and Saudi Arabia are the main reason for global instability

Hassan Jan 31, 2015 07:50pm

Beautifully written sir.

nasiroski Jan 31, 2015 07:51pm

Completely agree with author.

Fifi Jan 31, 2015 07:56pm

Translation of Irfan sb's articles published in urdu daily but I am sure this article will never published in that daily due to candid analysis of Al-e-Saud

Harsh Vardhan Jan 31, 2015 07:58pm

Very well written article...

Qasim Saqlain Jan 31, 2015 08:01pm

Spot on. Aale-Saud, the root cause of modern day terrorism.

Adil Haider Jan 31, 2015 08:25pm

the article shows what is wrong with the modern material world...a respect for money and influence without any thought about morality...the western powers are more concerned about stability in the middle east than about the effect of their policies on the people of these countries.

Afzal Mir Jan 31, 2015 08:38pm

Well done Irfan Sahib. Some Pakistanis think of Saudis as sacred cows. Saudi royals as corrupt as any body. They are responsible to a great extent for the present terrorism in the muslim world.

graham Jan 31, 2015 08:45pm

A pleasure to read, as usual.

GA Jan 31, 2015 08:45pm

I think Pakistanis have become the biggest promoters of Saudiology. How does a country of 8 million get to wag a country of 180 million?

Zia ur rehman Jan 31, 2015 08:47pm

Saudis are responsible for the blood of million muslims all over the world..Bravo respected author and appreciate your courage..

graham Jan 31, 2015 08:49pm

@Farzana No, they know there is no use telling Muslims what is wrong with them. As long as Muslims are obsessed with religion, there will be no development for them.

Akhtar Jan 31, 2015 08:59pm

This article is spot on. Yet we have leaders like Nawaz Sharif running to the Saudi's for consultation regularly.

It was the Saudis and Americans who after the soviet invasion left Pakistan to suffer the consequences of their proxy war. It was Saudi money that created alqaeda and now ISIS. The Saudi rulers themselves are the most hypocritical people on earth.

sam Jan 31, 2015 08:59pm

@Azmeen You mean Saudis should not be exposed!

wizarat Jan 31, 2015 09:26pm

Mr. Husain There is more but I guess you have to stay within limits imposed by others as in any other so called free country to be published and continue to have a job.

Thank you though for your voice.

Sami Jan 31, 2015 09:28pm

@Kumar Hey Kumar, there seems to be awakening, finally, amongst sections of our populace, albeit these are only green-shoots, yet, as they say, better late than never.

Sami Jan 31, 2015 09:31pm

@iqbal carrim There is more than enough Eastern hypocrisy to talk about before we look to the West for examples.

AXH Jan 31, 2015 09:32pm

@Avtar - You cannot draw a parallel between the KSA and Iran. Iran's hostage taking of the US staff was a diplomatic failure on part of the Americans for latter's blind support of the then ruler of Iran, the Shah, who was running a despotic regime and did not have support of the public.

Datta Jan 31, 2015 09:33pm

Wherever you look around the world t has always been the 19th and 20th century European powers and later the Americans who have disturbed the status quo and prevented weaker nations to follow their own path to progress. At a huge cost as is evident today. But despite so much of history to support this fact, they have still not learnt a thing. Even today the West is singing praises in support of the Saudis who do everything to hold on to power that the West normally considers reprehensible - different standards for differnt peoples -as long as it serves their short term purpose.

Sami Jan 31, 2015 09:37pm

@Cyrus Ho The guiding principles of Islam are written in stone, not the details which are constantly being manipulated to fit the narrative. The problem is that the vast majority of Muslims hold in reverence anyone who can speak Arabic and dress as if they are still in the 7th century.

Sami Jan 31, 2015 09:39pm

@Farzana So whose fault is it? Stop the blame "someone else" game!

sdas Jan 31, 2015 09:48pm

@Faisal - Correctly said Faisal but the fact is oil in the Middle East should lase decades more. At least that is what we read but if, as a geologist, you state otherwise, then we must respect your views too.

mohammad haq Jan 31, 2015 09:58pm

It takes courage for any one to come out and say what needs to be said. congratulation for taking this courage. Short sighted, uneducated , Kings of Saudi Arabia living in their shells, had created INSTABILITY in the Muslim world. Whole Muslim population have paid a price for their immature and poor planning. Everything is around themselves and 7000 princes. It is time for us and our intellectuals to speak up openly , at least in our countries so that the their agents will at least have some hard time to carry out THEIR agenda

devesh Jan 31, 2015 10:06pm

Very to the point article and very good one.

Atta Mateen Jan 31, 2015 10:14pm

Thanks for exposing the ugly side of House of Sauds

sal90 Jan 31, 2015 10:15pm

Great article. This darker side of Riyadh should not be kept as a secret only because of the fact that Saudi Arabia holds a pious place in a Muslim's life. Their surreptitious fundings for the madarasahs, for secterian killings and their immense support to the rebels is quite an enough proof of their misdeeds.

Seedoo Jan 31, 2015 10:54pm

Thank you for writing such articles and trying to open the eyes of the Pakistani public which kiss the ground that the royal family walks on simply because of its claim of custodians of the holy places.

amd Jan 31, 2015 11:32pm

Great Article Irfan Sahib, may I add two shamefully unjust & barbaric activities of the Saudis,1)Beheading of poor people(Indians and Pakistanis) only on suspicion of drug peddling in Saudi Arabia and 2)Marriage of wealthy Saudis to poor Muslim girls of Old Hyderabad of age as young as 8 years old only because of extreme poverty of the poor girl's parents.In many such cases the Saudi bridegrooms are well past 60 years of age. Is this humanity?

pathanoo Jan 31, 2015 11:32pm

@Zia Haider Irfan has been saying it for quite some time. You simply noticed late.

pathanoo Jan 31, 2015 11:40pm

An excellent, truth based, courageous article as only Irfan and a select few of Pakistani journalists are capable of writing. KUDOS, Irfan. The Saudi monarchy is going to end very badly with the Royals hunted down like dogs and beheaded in the public square. It is not a question of if but when. It may be some time coming, but coming it is. America is now self sufficient in oil and produces or will shortly produce 100% of it's energy needs. The reason to support the Saudi Royals at any cost is dimnishing. And, without the American support, the end of Saudi Royalty is in sight. Saudis have sowed only poison in the Muslim world and the world at large and so shall they reap.

raj Feb 01, 2015 12:31am

what a great and bold article from Irfan. He is to the point and accurate in his analysis. There is no muslim country which has done harm to the world and in particular to the muslim countries (poor ones in particular) greater than Saudi arabia. they funneled money to madrasaha to brain wash young school kids, they sponsored the terrorist activities all around the world and behead innocent people for small crimes. and yet USA pleases them. just for cheap oil. The days of oil wealth are limited now , when alternative energy will shape up the new energy dynamics, like solar, and common people will revolt against the ruling kingdom.

Anwar Mahmood Feb 01, 2015 12:35am

Irfan is right and I wrote similar type letters in the past.But you cannot do much, when America, Europe, Saudis, UAE, Israel, India and Japan are on the same side of the global domination.Russia and China even when united are playing survival game. Even Pakistan military high ups get money directly from America and indirectly from Saudis to hand over any one religious Paks to America and take money for their mansions, land and gifted to them properties while many good religious innocents like Aifa Siddiquiy are handed over to America for money.

The average worth of a Pak military general of one of the poorest country is more than ten times the worth of half a million dollar average worth general of the richest country America. And these Pak generals are bringing that big wealth into same America while their kids and families live in America and Canada too. No wonder my childhood friend now military high up refused in deign for even talking to me, let alone let my dirty feet inside his gifted mansion. We engineers and doctors even with world class work and reputation are like dirts before those Pak military high ups and judges.

Do not blame it all on those Saudi monarchs.We The powerful, the rich looters and the gun holders are the bosses now and I better shut up with my knowledge and good talks.

The tough fact is that America dominates oil and gas engineering and the Chinese and Russians are no match.In money worth, Pak military high ups dominate military high ups of all the armies of the world.

Just obey the might to save your skin.

Observer Feb 01, 2015 12:36am

A well-informed and candid assessment, Mr. Hussain. I hope you come to no harm and that you will continue to educate your readers. Thank you.

Sonny Afridi Feb 01, 2015 12:41am

Saudi Arabia has been a good ally but we really need to be frank with them and confront the sources of financing of terrorist activity as well as radical madrassas which teach sectarian hatred and political agendas. We need to do what the Turks do - all madrassas must be registered to the government and the imams must be on government payroll with state sponsored training and education. The mullahs spreading hatred and confusion and venom to youth must be put behind bars for life. Too much is at stake.

Sonny Afridi Feb 01, 2015 12:44am

@Rahul we are the victims of the civilian governments in Pakistan who have proven they will backstab and harm Pakistan's interest for the sake of their bank accounts

toordada Feb 01, 2015 01:12am

@Larkanavi Although all of this is sadly true. However, we, the pakistani should be carefull in cretisizing, blamig and embarasing saudis and ME countries publicly. Pakistani already have image problem in the world and perticularly in the west. If we started blaming ME and saudia for our problems, soon you will hear that ME countries sending back pakistani workers, working in their contries, not issuing new visas etc This is what some of our enemiies realy want. If that happend pakistan will further isolated and suffer greatly in terms of economy and foreign revenue. We should diplomatically, not emmotionally.

An interested observer of Pakistani politics Feb 01, 2015 01:31am

@Faisal Very, very well said, Mr. Faisal. Production of shale oil will change the world politics. While oil prices will start to rise again, but they will never go back to the level they were at six months ago and while that may be a bad news form the environment (I have begun to see ads for those SUVs again), it is a great news for Muslims whose lives have been plagued by the oil monarchs, especially the Saudis. Mr. Irfan has written an excellent piece.

Mustafa J. Feb 01, 2015 01:42am

The author has wasted his time on exposing Saudi Arabia. Take Pakistan, the most advanced country in education, science and technology in the entire Islamic world and look at its behavior and conduct such as sectarian conflicts, growing militancy and terrorism, suppression of Ahmadis and other minorities by state, none of these conduct represents true and peaceful Islam. I have heard that Indians and Pakistanis, despite independence from British 65 years ago, have still the mentality of "Slavery". The same way Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and most Islamic countries, despite being Muslims for thousand years. have "sinister mentality".

farhad Feb 01, 2015 01:50am

@oil ///////////whats your point my friend ?... why so bitter ...

joy Feb 01, 2015 01:55am

very realistic and thought-provoking article. The American policies coupled with Saudi religious madness have brought terrorism to every nook and corner of the world.

Masood Haider Feb 01, 2015 02:20am

Wondeful analysis. What would it take for Pakistanis to realize the evil nature of the KSA?

Khattak Feb 01, 2015 03:32am

Why are the Pakistani so jealous of Saudi family and their influence in the world,The Saudi family have help Pakistan on many occasions a much better friend then Iran.

Zameer Feb 01, 2015 03:45am

Two of Pakistan's close friends, namely Saudi Arabia and Iran are its worst enemies. Both playing their role in spreading their agenda of hatred in the country. This is a great and timely article. Let's hope more in the media will be brave enough to highlight the dangers of Saudi ideology for the wider world.

Rizwan Feb 01, 2015 03:50am

Bold analysis of bitter truth. However, it is very difficult for average Pakistani to digest it. They will still direct their hate towards USA, Israel, India and the West.

Shridatt Sharma Feb 01, 2015 03:51am

I am surprised, how one can dare to write such an article in Pakistan.

jus Feb 01, 2015 04:01am

Excellent piece, forgot to add the heinous exploitation of poor underage muslim girls from india..Pakistan. these over 60s Saudi are so well known to marry...the numbers in thousands. ...Bazaar 80s movie showcased the same...

Sehr Siddiqui Feb 01, 2015 04:16am

You are so right Mr. Irfan Hussain. In pakistan we are also bribed at individual, institutional and the Government level. The mystery of US $ 1,500,000,000 given Pakistan is still not clear. what are we supposed to do in return.

jagmohan Feb 01, 2015 04:36am

Congratulations to both the writer Irfan Bhai and the Dawn for exemplary courage to publish an eye opening article.The scum of extremism in various forms has destablised the Muslim world and its curse has been falling on counties like India.How mind boggling are unrepented target killings of school children in Peshwar or latest of those namazees on prayer mats in Shikarpur.No religion teaches so but for manmade selfish interpretation. Now as some commentators have suggested let there be its publication in Urdu/vernacular press and definitely institutions like those of maulana Lal Masjid, for initial awakening.

Ghulam M Malik Feb 01, 2015 05:33am

Irfan Sahib,I agree 100% with your article of Jan.31st in Dawn.These guys have done nothing to unite the muslim ummah rather than creating hatred among common public by fragmenting the society in Pakistan and fighting a proxy war in that poor country.The atrocities committed against minorities is absolutely unislamic.These rulers and so called kings will pay one day for the blood of innocents.Thank you for your eye opener article.Murtaza Malik St.Louis MO USA.

vham Feb 01, 2015 06:10am

@AXH Taking diplomats hostage is barbaric. It's Irans fault. Nobody else's

Anwar Ahmad Feb 01, 2015 06:27am

It is certainly true that Islamic Society of North America is Saudi funded (thus the emphasis of always celebrating Eid with Saudi Arabia in USA). Not even once ISNA has arranged for a rally to condemn fanatic violence. Yesterday, is was some sort of Muslim day. In Austin, TX there was an ISNA funded rally. Their muteness on terrorism was shamelessness at its height.

It is no longer about how the extremists are defining me (i.e. a common Muslim by virtue of being born in a Muslim family), rather what am I doing to define myself.

Moderate Muslims need to do more for the sake of our future generations. We need a platform. ISNA funded Mosques are not that platform for obvious reasons.

Irfan Sahib or anyone? Any suggestions?

Najji Feb 01, 2015 06:41am

Best article on this subject so far!

izhar minhas Feb 01, 2015 07:09am

Dear Irfan Bhai,


You have hit the nail right on the head. What you have written is a bitter truth but it is definitely true picture of Saud Royal family and their Western Masters. Please make sure your article is also published in every Pakistani Urdu Newspaper.

That would be a big help to educate our innocent & illiterate public.

Jazakm Allah Khair for speaking the truth,

Fee Aman Allah

Izhar Minhas USA

Pavan Devatha Feb 01, 2015 07:13am

I always wondered why Egypt was blocking Palestinian access to food and other goods. Its clear now

A concerned citizen of Shikarpur Feb 01, 2015 07:39am

@taemoor It does not go against the interest of US, sir! US is the fastest growing economy in the world today largely because of falling oil prices. Shale oil production, which made the US a larger producer than Saudi Arabia, started this free fall of oil prices, but prices would have fallen anyway due to slowing down of world demand. Saudis added to the free fall which is benefiting the US on the whole. Prices will rise again, but gone are the days of $100 plus a barrel price. This is so good for Muslims for who oil had turned into a curse.

Maj Gen (rtd) G. Singh Gill Feb 01, 2015 07:42am

Brilliant analysis.

Datta Feb 01, 2015 07:51am

It is good to see that Dawn is making a concerted effort to expose the Saudis with several articles for what they really are. Unfortunately the large majority of the unlettered people in India and Pakistan for whom SA is the heaven on earth are either not aware of how monstrous the regime is or do not want to accept it since it is the center of Islamic worship. It is important that the Urdu press in both countries also educate the people on this as it reaches out to the masses more than the English media..

Child #132 Feb 01, 2015 08:53am

Unlike European ideologues and traders, Saudis have three-pronged approach to the world in their own Royal and national Interest: 1. Sale of oil (petro dollars) 2.The monopoly on Hajj and pilgrimage (holy tourism dollars) 3. Control of Qur'anic ideology and Arabic as THE sole medium (holy colonialism --- as we see that the world's Muslims want to appear more Arabic than the Arabs!) Beyond these, Saudi Arabia has no other interests.

@expat Feb 01, 2015 08:54am

Very well written article.

Gp65 Feb 01, 2015 09:42am

@Realist "I always wonder what would be the name of the country once the Saud family is gone. It can't be 'Saudi' Arabia."

Arabia. Remember the movie Lawrence of Arabia? It wasn't called Lawrence of Saudi Arabia.

Katoch Feb 01, 2015 09:52am

Few years back I tweeted that the day Pakistan learn to stand on its legs,it will be a great country. Person like Irfan give us this hope.

Mustafa Feb 01, 2015 10:05am

The West, The middle eastern monarchs and Salafis have have one thing in common, hate of Iran and Russia. The biblical phrase "gogs and magogs" has been translated into "Shia and Rush-Shia".

Umer Feb 01, 2015 10:36am

A biased article, like many others being published in our newspapers these days portraying only one side of picture... Why nobody writes about the Iran-funded and supported terrorism in Syria and other countries...?

A CONCERNRD Feb 01, 2015 11:11am

@Faisal Are there any deposits of shale rocks in Pakistan? Iran found it. Do we have hope to be oil indrpendent one day?

VINOD Feb 01, 2015 12:39pm

Excellent article by Mr.Irfan Hussain as ever. And how come most people in Pakistan think that genetically they are Arabs and not only love their culture but ape it.

Khattak Feb 01, 2015 01:05pm

@Mustafa J. Quit right the most corrupt nation in the out side world is pakistan, spreading it state terror into Afghanistan, for a few dollers, I hope that mr hussain will high light the flight of pashtoon IDP and other minority in pakistan, it best to finger point at one self before we do it to others

zubair Ahmed Feb 01, 2015 01:39pm

well said dear

imran Feb 01, 2015 02:06pm

Spot on

SANJEEV KUMAR YADAV Feb 01, 2015 02:42pm

They do not offer anything good to the world except OIL !!!

Valiya Feb 01, 2015 05:02pm

How many Pakistanis know this and how many of them will oppose Saudi?

Nasir-ud-din Soomro Feb 01, 2015 05:50pm

This article has proven the point there are bold writers out there,you have broken the mold and can speak from heart..

amrut Feb 01, 2015 08:25pm

Salute you Irfanbhai. Looking forward to an article from you on the funding by Iran to terrorist groups

tanweer daudi Feb 01, 2015 08:48pm

A very thoughtful article and truly describes the dark sides of Saudi royal family. Powerfull nations USA. Britain will keep Saudi monarch to meet their own benefits and ignoring the sufferings of millions to their own advantages.

S. A. Hyder, Ph.D. Feb 01, 2015 09:49pm

Great article, Irfan Sahib. Hope such articles would open and clear people's minds to the real source of today's world instabilities .

faisal Feb 01, 2015 10:53pm

Spot on. The beginning of the end for Saudi influence has begun. shale oil will bring down this house. the sooner the better. Feb 01, 2015 11:03pm

Great good article worth to read.

Gul Feb 01, 2015 11:40pm

Little more emotional like hassan Nisar A good writer should present facts He should not draw conclusions Drawing conclusion is the right of the reader Anyway, brave dawn...

Akil Akhtar Feb 02, 2015 04:01am

@Kumar The onus is on the west to stop terrorism because they are the ones who started and funded it....May still be funding it where it suits them like Syria, Pakistan etc.

commonsense Feb 02, 2015 08:56am

Good and eyes opening article. Hope and pray that your life dose not get in trouble. I have heard that honesty is not well rewarded in certain country.

ahmed ghazali Feb 02, 2015 11:24am

Theres no proof and no court anywhere could have convicted osama bin laden for 9/11 simply all lies .you need to wake up

Imtiaz Piracha Feb 02, 2015 12:53pm

@toordada That precisely is the mentality that has allowed the foreign influence, including Saudia’s, which has destroyed our country and corrupted our leadership and governance. Qualitatively, Pakistan is much richer than ME oil producers, but mismanaged due to lack of self-confidence, self-respect and courage.

Prakash Feb 02, 2015 02:16pm

Its to the advantage of richer, more advanced nations to keep other nations poor, uneducated and hooked onto the opium of the masses (religion). Unfortunately keeping the average citizen poor, uneducated and hooked onto religion is also to the advantage of their so called leaders. The day we get a true leader who really wants to uplift his people, we will no longer be poor, uneducated or narrow minded. India to some extent has found its leader in Modi, for Pakistan this search is going to be tougher since everything is viewed through the prism of religion here. If something wrong goes on there, they call it unislamic rather than inhuman. Have you ever heard of anything being called unhinduic. Look at things from a human perspective and not a religious perspective and half of Pakistan's battles will be won.

ijaz Feb 02, 2015 08:05pm

Well written. ... depicting the bitter truth!

naka Paka Feb 03, 2015 04:44am


Saudi Arabia is a Oil Company disguised as a Country

George David Feb 03, 2015 11:23am

I hope he brings peace, happiness and freedom in SA

Ahsan Shah Feb 04, 2015 03:09am

Fantastic, outstanding

naresh jee Feb 04, 2015 09:45am

Thank you Irfan Hussain sahib for this superbly written and accurate article. It is a superb and classy piece of writing that in the west could have easily been a contender for the Pulitzer prize.