Pakistan, GCC horizon


Pakistan enjoys a broadened wavelength of commonalities with the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). For decades this special relationship has acted as an extension of goodwill in each other’s countries. This is why it is officially acknowledged that Pakistanis have played a special role in the neo-development canvas of GCC, especially in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Oman and Qatar. Thus, the newly-signed Joint Action Plan for Strategic Dialogue (2022-26) is a new leaf in their sharing of hearts, and it luckily spans over a greater horizon of interaction. While the roots lie in a shared faith, economic interdependence and political compatibility, as well as a pertinent geo-strategic intent, it is hoped that this first institutionalised valve of inter-active métier will go a long way in ushering peace and prosperity in the region.

The action plan touch-bases deepened understanding in the realms of trade and tourism, joint ventures in agrarian and energy-related projects, as well as in synchronisation of evolving technological advancements. It is apparently on the lines of strategic formations that major powers ink agreements with their allied states. While Pakistan has been ever ready for Saudi Arabia, especially in terms of buoying defence cooperation as well as throwing open an umbrella of security whenever the region was in need of, this economic pyramid of understanding comes on the strengths of trust and inevitability of reciprocity. An MoU signed during a high-powered delegation’s visit to Islamabad between Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and GCC Secretary General Dr Nayef Falah M Al-Hajraf has vistas to unfold in months and years to come.

The GCC has always been a second home to Pakistanis. More than three million expatriates send in remittances to the tune of $2 billion per month on an average. Likewise, the oil-rich Arab states are benevolent in ensuring supply of petroleum products. In the domains of information technology, banking, media, medicine and constructions, Pakistanis have proved their mantle and are duly recognised. The geo-strategic discernment between Pakistan and the GCC states is laudable. It is hoped that the five-year format will act in moulding their relations to new heights, and rewrite bilateralism on the premise of ASEAN and European Union domains.


Published in The Express Tribune, January 10, 2022.

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