India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is on a two-day visit to Qatar from today during which he is expected to hold talks with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and other important dignitaries. This visit may very well have a huge repercussion for Pakistan which in its current situation may not be ready to deal with. Losing friends when you are already nearly alone in the world geopolitics will be unbecoming of Pakistan.
2020 has been a bad year for the whole world; however, it has been awful for countries like Pakistan. Earlier, they had lost their friends in the Middle East for pandering to the Turks, after that they lost a friend in the USA as they moved into the shadows of China, and now with the only allies that were Turkey and Qatar, changing ships, Pakistan has found itself in the worst foreign policy slum ever.
India’s External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will convey special gratitude for taking care of Indians during the COVID-19 pandemic. India and Qatar enjoy strong economic, cultural and people-to-people ties and Qatar hosts more than 7 lakh Indians. As per India Today, the bilateral trade was $10.95 billion in 2019-20. Both sides remain committed to intensifying bilateral cooperation in various fields including energy and investments. India and Qatar have also worked together to face the Covid-19 pandemic and coordinated smooth operation of flights under an Air Bubble arrangement.
As India and Qatar are increasing their bilaterals and Qatar is also moving out of its Arabian isolationism, back to increasing engagement with the West and making it the bridge to normalise relationships in its backyard. And with countries like Qatar and Turkey changing course, Pakistan is left high and dry with frenemies turning into enemies as well as countries whom it considered friends turning away too.
With the US sanctions in place, and the country reeling from the economic downward spiral, Turkey has decided to recalibrate its relationship with Israel and reset the ties with the USA as well as European Union. Now, Turkey is considering appointing its first Ambassador to Israel in over two and a half years. And sources say that Turkey has chosen a Jerusalem-educated diplomat for the big job.
This in itself was a big surprise to the Pakistanis, who were basking on the hype that they can show attitude to their benefactors in Saudi Arabia and UAE because Turkey and its ally Qatar had their back. But, now as Turkey found itself in the corner, Erdogan mended his ways and got back on appeasing the big guns of the EU and the USA.
Now with Indian External Affairs Minister visiting Qatar, Qatar’s President Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani having spoken to Indian PM Narendra Modi thrice on the telephone in the past few months and it looks like the country is trying to make India its bridge in mending its ties with the Middle Eastern countries. And with Qatar also in India & West’s corner, Pakistan is left with no ally which can help it, but the coloniser China.