Soon after taking office last summer, the new Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan confronted mounting economic challenges and the prospect of a balance of payments crisis. The government has delayed accepting an International Monetary Fund bailout and sought additional sources of financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, among others. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman recently visited Pakistan to finalize agreements on new projects in the energy sector and other areas, which solidified a $20 billion Saudi investment in Pakistan’s economy to match the scale of China, Islamabad’s principal ally. Pakistani military cooperation with Saudi Arabia has also remained strong, with the former Pakistani chief of army staff Raheel Sharif now heading a Saudi-sponsored military coalition.

The deepening relationship between Pakistan and the Gulf states comes at a period of high tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran, whose border with Pakistan has also been the site of periodic clashes and whose past efforts to launch a gas pipeline project linking the two countries remains stalled. A February 13th terrorist attacked, which killed 27 members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and was linked to Pakistani-based militants, only further escalated tensions between the two countries. While Prime Minister Khan has professed a desire to serve as a mediator between Saudi Arabia and Iran, Pakistan faces an increasingly challenging diplomatic balancing act.
 
Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Monday, March 11th from 1:00pm – 2:30pm for a conversation analyzing the current Pakistani government’s relations with Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Gulf States, and implications for regional security in South Asia and the greater Middle East. Take part in the discussion on Twitter with #USIPPakistan.

Speakers

Ankit Panda
Senior Editor, The Diplomat

Karen Young
Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Alex Vatanka
Senior Fellow, Middle East Institute

Ambassador Richard Olsonmoderator
Former United States Ambassador to Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates 

Related Publications

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Our Next ‘Unthinkable’ Crisis: Nuclear War in Asia?

Thursday, May 19, 2022

By: James Rupert

Our world’s spate of disasters so recently unimaginable — European cities pulverized by war, Earth’s decaying climate or 6 million dead from pandemic disease — evokes a national security question: What other “unthinkable” crises must American citizens and policymakers anticipate? A singular threat is warfare around our planet’s one spot where three nuclear-armed states stubbornly contest long-unresolved border conflicts. Largely unnoted in national security news coverage, the conflicts embroiling China, India and Pakistan are growing more complex and dangerous. A USIP study shows the urgency for U.S. policymakers of working to reduce the risks.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Global PolicyConflict Analysis & Prevention

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

China, India and Pakistan: Tenuous Stability Risks Nuclear War

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

By: Daniel Markey, Ph.D.;  Andrew Scobell, Ph.D.;  Vikram J. Singh

Over the past decade, long-standing disputes between the nuclear-armed states of Southern Asia have repeatedly veered into deeper hostility and violence. These regional developments reflect and reinforce new and significant geopolitical shifts, starting with the global strategic competition between China and the United States. In Southern Asia, relations between the United States and Pakistan have frayed even as U.S.-India and China-Pakistan ties have strengthened. The region now faces deepening and more multifaceted polarization. Global competition adds fuel to regional conflict and reduces options for crisis mediation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal Policy

View All Publications