Pakistan founder Jinnah’s vision provides foundation for ties with Saudi Arabia
Pakistan celebrated on Wednesday the 143rd birth anniversary of its founder Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, who was instrumental in shaping Pakistan today and building ties with Arab and Islamic countries, including Saudi Arabia.
The formation of Pakistan also led to the renewal and strengthening of the relationship with Saudi Arabia that dates back to the pre-partition era of British-ruled India. It is pertinent to also note Pakistani media reports that Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan al-Saud was expected to make a visit to Pakistan’s Islamabad on Thursday.
Prime Minister Imran Khan said, “the best way to pay homage to the Quaid on his birth anniversary was to adhere to his principle of ‘Unity, Faith, and Discipline’.”
Pakistan President Dr. Arif Alvi highlighted Jinnah’s personality and visionary approach that led him to the idea of a separate identity for Muslims in the subcontinent leading to the formation of Pakistan based on Islamic ideology.
“A visionary man who envisaged a separate identity, needs and political direction for the Muslims of the subcontinent. The acumen of his foresight and vision can be witnessed even today with the prevailing conditions in India and Occupied Kashmir.”
Ruling party and Opposition leaders highlighted the vision of Jinnah who knew the sufferings of the Muslims left behind in India, and how it relates to the current ongoing crisis in Kashmir and India.
“Events taking place across the border have reaffirmed Jinnah’s vision, political wisdom, and far-sightedness,” said Opposition party leader Shahbaz Sharif of the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz (PML-N).
Deep ties with Saudi Arabi, Arab world
After the formation of Pakistan in 1947, the relationship with Saudi Arabia continued to strengthen, embracing the wider Arab world.
Earlier in 1940, Saudi delegations were received and welcomed by the All-India Muslim League in Karachi, while the first foreign aid that was received by Jinnah worth 10,000 pounds in 1943, was from Saudi Arabia, responding to Jinnah’s call for support to help the people in Bengal.
In 1946 at the United Nations, Saudi Arabia helped in sorting out issues with the Indian National Congress team.
After the formation of Pakistan in 1947, Jinnah had put relations with Saudi Arabia on a priority as both countries carried on a strong strategic relationship and worked together on bilateral terms.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is a standing example of this strong understanding, as Pakistan is a founding member of the only organization that represents the Muslim World.
Top Saudi diplomat and one of the founders of the King Faisal Foundation, Turki bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, described the Pak-Saudi relations as “probably one of the closest relationships in the world between any two countries.”
The relationship between the two countries has been strengthened by historical events.
Jinnah’s visionary two-nation theory and making Pakistan a Muslim state highlights the importance that Saudi Arabia and the Arab world held in 1947.
It was because of this that Jinnah kept relations with the Muslim world over and above others, a strategy that has paved the way to the current strong ties between Pakistan and the Arab world.
Saudi Arabia has always been steadfast in supporting Pakistan through thick and thin, a fact greatly acknowledgment by Islamabad.
Military cooperation between the two countries began in the 1960s and continues to this day through joint exercises and training.
Currently, at least four million Pakistani nationals are employed in Saudi Arabia, while hundreds of thousands visit each year to perform Hajj and Umrah.
Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision of unity, faith, and discipline in building Pakistan certainly saw its relations with Saudi Arabia as the first, the strongest and most longstanding sustainable collaboration in foreign policy.
Today, that vision of the Quaid-e-Azam certainly speaks volumes as both countries share close bilateral ties, a religious and emotional attachment and brotherly warmth towards each other.