Arab-India ties

September 09, 2019

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APROPOS the letter ‘Arab-India ties’ (Sept 1). Economics maybe the basic cause of strong Arab- India ties, but historically the Arabs have always had a soft corner for India. Our mandarins in Islamabad have always chosen to overlook this fact.

Pakistan has always maintained a distance from Israel because of the Palestinian issue despite Tel Aviv’s numerous overtures while Arab countries maintained a close relationship with India.

No Arab country, particularly the oil-rich ones, ever used their economic clout to persuade India to solve the Kashmir issue. Millions of Indians work in Arab countries, and India buys oil from them. The Arabs could have used this leverage to persuade India to do the honourable thing in occupied Kashmir.

These days the Emirates seems infatuated with India and Israel, and is going out of its way to show its fascination. For the Hindus of India, the UAE is building the world’s largest temple and has honoured the Indian prime minister with the UAE’s highest civilian award.

However, with Israel, the UAE has no formal or diplomatic relations. Then how is it that an Israeli minister was invited to Abu Dhabi last year to a sports event and the Israeli anthem played on her arrival? That is not all. The Israeli minister was accorded a warm welcome and taken on a tour of Sheikh Zayed mosque.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have boycotted Qatar on the allegations that it supports terrorism. Then by what logic have these ‘two brotherly countries’ dished out their respective highest civil awards to Narendra Modi, a confirmed killer of Muslims.

Ahmad Mir

Sialkot

Published in Dawn, September 9th, 2019