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ROVING PERISCOPE…. Non-Arab Muslim Axis: S. Arabia livid at Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia

ROVING PERISCOPE…. Non-Arab Muslim Axis: S. Arabia livid at Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia

  • Saudi Crown Prince MbS livid at Imran Khan, others
  • Forced Imran, Pak delegation to return home on commercial flight
  • 3 Non-Arab Muslim nations trying to form an Axis.

New Delhi: Saudi Arabia, birthplace of Islam which also houses the holiest Muslim shrines in Mecca and al-Medina, is apparently livid with Pakistan, Turkey and Malaysia who are trying to emerge as a Non-Arab Axis within the Muslim Brotherhood.

Saudi Arabia’s displeasure manifested when its Crown Prince Muhammed bin-Salman (MbS), who loaned his private jet to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Ahmed Khan Niazi to fly to New York to address the 74th UN General Assembly (October 21-27), did not let him return by the same aircraft. It forced the Pakistani delegation to fly home aboard a commercial aircraft, claiming that the Saudi aircraft had developed some ‘technical snag.’

The Prince and the Threesome: Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin-Salman, Malaysian PM Mahathir Muhammed, Pakistan PM Imran Khan and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Before attending the UNGA, Imran Khan had first visited Saudi Arabia.

Last week, well-known Pakistani weekly The Friday Times reported that MbS was “alienated” with “some dimensions” of Imran Khan’s actions on the sidelines of the UNGA session in New York, prompting him to order his “private jet to disembowel the Pakistani delegation”.

Interestingly, while departing from Jeddah for New York, MbS had provided his private jet to Khan asking him to use it instead of taking a commercial flight to the US as he could not let his guest travel in a commercial plane, Pakistani media reports had said.

On September 28, Pakistani media reported that the Saudi plane developed a technical glitch following which the Prime Minister and his delegation returned to New York and then took a commercial flight back to Pakistan.

Also read: Tryst with democracy

Also read: ROVING PERISCOPE New Islamic Axis: Non-Arab Pakistan, Turkey, Malaysia

Contradicting this claim, the weekly said on October 4 that “The Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, was so alienated by some dimensions of the Pakistani Prime Minister’s diplomacy in New York—he couldn’t have been happy at the prospect of Imran Khan, (Turkish President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan and (Malaysian Prime Minister) Mahathir Mohammad planning to jointly represent the Islamic bloc, nor with Pakistan’s interlocution with Iran without his (MbS’) explicit approval…

“…He visibly snubbed Imran by ordering his private jet to disembowel the Pakistani delegation…”

In its diatribe against India on the Kashmir issue, Pakistan had got support only from Turkey and Malaysia, apart from China. The entire Arab world, however, either kept mum or supported India. This is seen as the beginning of a non-Arab Islamic Axis within the 58-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), with Islamabad trying to lead it on the strength of its being a ‘nuclear power’.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, Imran Khan had met Erdogan and Mahathir, where the three non-Arab Muslim leaders decided to launch “a BBC type English language TV Channel that, apart from highlighting Muslim issues, will also fight Islamophobia”.

Also during the UNGA, Imran had announced that he was working to mediate with Iran to defuse tensions in the Gulf at the request of both US President Donald Trump and the Saudi Crown Prince.

Reacting to The Friday Times article, a Pakistani Government spokesperson rubbished the claims on Sunday.

He claimed that this was a “cooked up” story. The leaders of Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have always had good relations. The conclusion of Khan’s meeting with the Turkish and Malay leaders is “pure fiction”. The report is aimed at “political vendetta”. “We dismiss this report,” the spokesman added.


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