Saudi Arabia has supported India’s decision to turn Article 370 earlier applicable to Jammu and Kashmir defunct and restructure the state. This comes as a shock to Pakistan that has been playing the Islamic card to rally support in its favour in both Muslim countries and the rest of the world.
Gaining the support of the kingdom, considered the most dominant Islamic force worldwide, is a major diplomatic victory for India. According to sources, Saudi Arabia expressed its opinion following a two-hour meeting in Riyadh between India’s national security adviser Ajit Doval and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday.
Sources said that during this meeting many important bilateral issues were discussed between the two countries. “The issue of Jammu and Kashmir arose in this conversation. On this, the Saudi Crown Prince said that they appreciated the steps taken by India in Jammu and Kashmir,” a source said.
On August 5, India had effectively scrapped Article 370 and passed a resolution in Parliament to divide the province into two separate parts, making Jammu and Kashmir a union territory temporarily and Ladakh another UT albeit permanently. The special status of Jammu and Kashmir has, since then, seized to exist.
Imran’s Saudi visit proves useless
Recently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Saudi Arabia. It is clear now that the visit was futile from the Pakistani point of view. In the last 5 years, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSA Ajit Doval have made every effort to improve India’s relations with the kingdom. Due to this, Saudi Arabia has emerged as a partner of India in matters like security and intelligence.
India’s big economic partner soon
Sources said that this outcome of the meeting between Doval and Mohammed bin Salman was going to further improve the relations between the two countries. At a time when Saudi Arabia plans to reduce its dependence on oil by 2030, India is expected to emerge as an important partner for the epicentre of Islam in the world.