PM’s personal welcome of Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia is a good gesture. Many journalists of the print and electronic media and almost all the opposition parties were outraged at Prime Minister Modi personally welcoming (at the airport) Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on his arrival (by breaking the protocol) and hugging him. When Indian tourism’s motto is: Athidhi Devo Bhava (a guest should be treated as god), where is the question of not following the norm by the prime minister? Moreover, the guest is from an oil-rich country and that country is an abode of two important shrines of Muslims: the Mecca and Medina. Prime minister’s reception with a huge hug resulted instantly in the increase of Haj quota of India to 2 lakhs. The Muslim brothers of India should take note of this achievement.
Since, Pakistan is a big beneficiary of Saudi Arabia and of the present prince MBS, India cannot afford to cold-shoulder the crown prince as India needs economic partnership with Saudi Arabia. It takes time to expose Pakistan to the world nations. Anyway, now, Iran though an Islamic country, has realised what Pakistan is, with Pak-sponsored terror attack on its soil recently killing many soldiers.
It goes without saying that Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have bonhomie. Prince MBS literally bailed Pakistan out from that country’s economic crisis by investing $20 billion. The bond of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is so strong religiously and otherwise. However, India by being friendly to Saudi may reap larger gains later.
Of late, the opposition parties have no issues to bait the BJP with. The Congress spokespersons making a big hullabaloo about the prince not mentioning the Pulwama terror act (or not condemning it) or not mentioning Pakistan’s role etc., was only for public consumption. They merely wanted to play on the sentiments of people by highlighting them. Of course, the Pulwama massacre of 48 Indian soldiers enraged everyone. People are not still able to grapple with it and have not come to terms with the reality. However, the incident has drawn their wrath against Pakistan rather than against the ruling. The supposition of security lapse could be attributed to the anomalous nature of the incident which had never been anticipated. The prime minister has condemned the incident in no uncertain terms and has given full freedom to the army to avenge the ghastly act at their (army’s) choosing of time and place.
Coming to Saudi Crown Prince (MBS) not condemning the terror act that was gruesome and had happened just before him stepping on the land of India, is somewhat not palatable to many. In any case, Saudi Arabia and the present crown prince are not seeped much deep into Kashmir valley’s problems to make a comment upon. The prince himself is facing the ire of the international community for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi- journalist and a citizen of USA.
It is said that Jamal Khashoggi was a bitter critic of the crown prince and was brutally murdered a few months ago in Saudi embassy of Turkey. That made a big stir in the international community. The USA and the UK and other European countries that make a tall talk about the human rights and their violations could do not take any tangible action against Saudi Arabia or its crown prince on Khashoggi’s ghastly murder. Though Khashoggi was a citizen of USA, that country ignored the fact to befriend Saudi Arabia, a much loved- ally of that country for a long time.
The whole point is, world countries go by their interests. They keep aside their objectives that are dear to them like human rights for want their friendship with Saudi Arabia. In that scenario, why cannot India please the beleaguered (because of world super powers blaming him for the journalist’s murder) crown prince. By welcoming the crown prince warmly, India could get Saudi Commission for tourism, India’s National Heritage to promote tourism, Exchange of audio visual programmes of Prasar Bharati and Saudi Broadcasting Corporation and many other benefits. So, the PM took a correct step for the development of the country.