Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan’s visit to Pakistan is a good opportunity for Pakistan to further cement its ties with our biggest trading partner in the Middle-East. Our friendly relationship with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one which the government values highly, and it is positive to note that ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf has rolled out the red carpet to welcome the crown prince on this day-long visit.
The Prime Minister’s own diplomatic overtures in particular, are to be appreciated. Driving foreign dignitaries himself is a nice personal touch and one that sets the tone for greater one-to-one connections. PM Khan can use these for the benefit of the country in further improving partnerships in trade and security.
Establishing unity between friendly Muslim countries is an essential part of our foreign policy, and the government’s role in keeping friends such as the UAE close must be appreciated. There are always boons that are both given and received for the interactions to prove fruitful; the Crown Prince last visited Pakistan only a week after the UAE offered $3billion worth of support for our economy.
On our part, granting a limited number of hunting licenses for the endangered houbara bustard are a difficult, but necessary price to pay to keep allies in the Middle East close – as long as the government keeps conservation and protection of the species as a central concern in tandem.
Pakistan has offered its unequivocal support to both Saudi Arabia and the UAE in recent times, and it is hoped that this visit will provide the opportunity for the UAE to reciprocate. Economic support or greater trading opportunities will probably be discussed between the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister.
However, this is also an opportune moment to convince the UAE to offer up a vocal condemnation of the Indian government’s brutal repression of the rights of the Kashmiris. Pakistan gave up the opportunity to bring up this issue with Malaysia and Turkey and it is hoped that our greatest concerns regarding the eastern neighbour are shared by our greatest allies.