PM Imran Khan's Islamic alliance with Malaysia, Turkey hurts Pakistanis in the Gulf

Edited By: Gravitas desk WION
New Delhi Published: Dec 08, 2020, 11:13 PM(IST)

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan. Photograph:( ANI )

Story highlights

Imran Khan had gone against Gulf powers and joined hands with Turkey and Malaysia. Now, overseas Pakistanis are paying the price for it.

Pakistan citizen's misery under the Imran Khan government is evident, not just for those who live in the country but also for those working overseas.

PM Imran Khan's Islamic powerplay has hurt Pakistanis outside, especially in the Gulf.

Imran Khan had joined the Islamic alliance with Malaysia and Turkey falling out of favour with the Gulf powers..

As a cricketer, Imran Khan was Pakistan's biggest global ambassador, however, as prime minister, he may be proving to be the biggest embarrassment stumbling his way from one diplomatic disaster to the next while feeling the brunt are Pakistanis - both at home and abroad.

Imran Khan had gone against Gulf powers and joined hands with Turkey and Malaysia. Now, overseas Pakistanis are paying the price for it. Last month, the UAE had stopped issuing visas to 13 Muslim countries which includes Pakistan.

For the Pakistani labourers, it was a punch in the gut. They lost employment and the Pakistan government also suffered some losses since remittances were already falling. In July, Pakistan expected a drop of 10 per cent in remittances from the UAE. Now, the drop will be much higher and to rub salt on the wound, Indians are benefiting from the ban on Pakistanis.

Reports say a recruitment agency in Rawalpindi alone lost 3,000 openings to India - its a triple whammy for Imran Khan. While the ban is temporary, Pakistan is out of the good graces of Gulf states. The reason is Imran Khan's call to join Turkey and Malaysia - the new Muslim axis that challenges traditional Muslim powers Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

After repeated warnings, the Gulf powers dumped Pakistan and by April more than 21,000 Pakistani expats in Gulf states were laid off. In November, it grew to 50,000 as they returned to Pakistan on paid or unpaid leaves with their jobs are on the line.

Pakistan has clearly lost the plot and it may be too late to salvage the relationship. Gulf countries are moving closer to new allies with the UAE and Bahrain have recently established diplomatic ties with Israel, Indian external affairs minister S. Jaishankar recently travelled to these countries signalling a visible realignment.

Later this month, Jaishankar will travel to Qatar and Kuwait while his deputy will pay a visit to Oman. The Indian Army chief MM Naravane kicked off his visit to Saudi Arabia and the UAE today.

As India's ties with the Gulf deepen, Pakistan is being dumped. The Pakistanis have lost jobs and they only have Imran Khan to blame.

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