For a country that has exhausted gold and foreign exchange reserves, faced with a current account deficit and struggle for its financial future, Pakistan is demonstrating the most powerful exhibit for Saudi Arabia's most powerful person ̵
It is easy to understand why: Prime Minister Imran Khan needs money and needs him quickly.
MBS, as he is known, comes to the city, promising billions – with Pakistan, the first stop on an Asian tour of four countries. Malaysia, Indonesia and India.
But money is just one dimension of a much deeper relationship.
How rich is this visit?
The last time a royal visit to Saudi Arabia was celebrated by this great fanfare, was in 2006 when King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was then a nuclear nation who was then king of Saudi Arabia.
is taken seriously – with Imran Hen, who says that he personally cares about the arrangements. The visit takes place against the backdrop of increased tensions in the region, after India has accused Pakistan of lethal attacks on its security forces in Kashmir for decades.
JF-17 Thunder fighters will accompany the MBS fleet on Sunday when they enter the airspace of Pakistan – with all other earthed ground.
Hundreds of star numbers in Islamabad are believed to have been booked for 1,000 delegations. There are even reports that thousands of pigeons were caught on the greeting ceremony.
- Pakistan sells ex-buffalo prize money
The Pakistani Government, which organized an auction to raise money last year, sold out its luxury Automobile Park, arranged 300 Toyota Land Cruisers.
And for a two-day trip, the Saudi prince will remain at the official residence of the prime minister – something that no state guest has ever done before.
Pakistan desperately needs cash?
The central bank has only $ 8 billion (£ 6.2 billion), which remained in foreign reserves and faces a balance of payments crisis.
Since he was sworn in last August, a former cricket player, Imran Khan, was aggressively seeking assistance from friendly countries in order to reduce the size of the package that Pakistan would probably need from the International Monetary Fund under very harsh conditions. .
The country is looking for its 13th case since the late 1980s.
The MBS visit will take place shortly after the Prince of Abu Dhabi was in the city of Muhammad bin Zayed al-Nahyan
The United Arab Emirates was obliged to allocate 6 billion dollars in support of the battered economy of Pakistan. In general, Pakistan hopes to receive $ 30 billion in loans and investments from two Arabian kingdoms, reports the Wall Street Journal.
It is unclear what deals will be signed while the MBS is in the city – but the jewelry is a $ 8 billion oil refinery in the southern port city of Gvadar.
- India "completely isolates" Pakistan
Gwadar is the center of the economic corridor of China and Pakistan in the amount of $ 60 billion. Chinese money is largely valued by the Pakistani government, but analysts say that this is due to privileges – Chinese workers usually build Chinese projects. There is also anxiety about the fact that Beijing has too much influence.
Therefore, funds from Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf are very welcome.
What is in it for the Saudis?
Although Pakistan is easy to see as a country benefiting from the generosity of its allies at the expense of its sovereignty, this story is not so simple.
Saudi Arabia also needs Pakistan.
Crowned princely tour comes at a peculiar time for the kingdom, which now faces its own global reputation crisis through the humanitarian catastrophe of the war in Yemen and the killing of journalist Jamal Hassoggi at his Istanbul consulate. 19659032] Who is the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed?
Against this background, the current tour can be seen as an offensive offensive from the MBS, which seeks to strengthen relationships with trusted allies while working in cash.
And it is important to remember that Pakistan is very important for Saudi Arabia.
Two countries have a military relationship that has passed for decades. When four decades ago militants were subjected to an Islamic holy place in Mecca, it was the Pakistani troops that were deployed to eliminate them.
"There has always been an assumption that Pakistan will be able to provide labor if Saudi Arabia is faced with a serious security crisis or serious attack," said Shashank Joshi, editor of The Economist magazine and South Asian Defense Specialist.
] "Saudi Arabia, like some other Gulf countries, has a lot of cash but not necessarily a particularly strong army. Pakistan has not much cash but a very strong and powerful army." the suspect – but never proved – that the two sides have long-term nuclear relations that Saudi Arabia can use if it needs access to technology – for example, if a regional rival Iran turned into a nuclear weapon
a strong religious influence mainly Muslim Pakistan Sunnis, and after the Soviet-Afghan war in the 1980's, they were able to create a large network of religious seminaries, partly to counter Iran's influence. Whether Sitting in Pakistan, the main avenue of Islamabad was scattered with posters and flags dedicated to the 40th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.
Iran's presence as a Pakistani neighbor is another reason why Saudis want to maintain a relationship.
"Saudi Arabia would like Pakistan to stay closer to Riyadh than to Tehran," says Mr. Joshi.
It is true that the decision of Pakistan not to listen to the call of Saudi Arabia to join the war in Yemen four years ago damaged the relationship. But this visit, which takes place against the backdrop of generational change in the Saudi leadership, "represents the turning of the page," says Pakistani observer Mossaraf Zaydi.
What makes this tour even more significant is that it occurs at a time when geopolitics in the region is changing.
There are unprecedented talks to end the war in Afghanistan – where Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, India and the United States have a share.
Next meetings between the Taliban and American officials may take place in Islamabad on the day of the MBS exit – and Saudis do not want to be silent spectators sitting on the roadside.
High-level talks were held earlier in Qatar, the country where the Saudi Arabian gulf continues, and Saudi officials want to find out what's happening in Pakistan, says Josh.
"Saudi Arabia will be interested in continuing as the peace process, namely factions [of the Taliban that they are close to] authorized, not those close
On their trip, MBS will also meet with the powerful Chief of Pakistan, General Kamar Javad Baiwa , where it is expected to discuss the Taliban issue.
Kevin Ponny's supplementary report