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As Indian Army chief lands, Saudi-UAE say Modi-Bibi, Habibi

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Ankit Shah
Ankit Shah
Indo-Pacific Security & Foreign Policy Observer, Consultant, PhD scholar and Past Academic & Research Associate of IIM Ahmedabad. Follow his twitter handle @ankitatIIMA for China-Pak issues.

Believe it or not, Saudi-UAE could be one of the first countries in the World to declare Pakistan occupied Kashmir as India’s territory whenever Delhi attempts. Crown Prince MBS and MBZ now seems to hold a strong bond of partnership with PM Modi & Netanyahu. From 2016 the scene of the Gulf started sliding towards de-radicalization agenda. In this new realization, the Arab Gulf realized that the free crude oil stock is limited and Islam has to work out on adopting modernization and de-radicalization or else it will be back to the camels. Of course, they don’t want to become a begging state like Pakistan. It’s rather a good idea to ally with a big consumer market and a regional military power like India which can roll-out 5G by next year end and also mass manufacture vaccine for corona for the World.

The active diplomacy of India and Israel sniffed the opportunity. Along the alliance, the US started producing and selling crude oil. India swiftly altered its crude oil basket more towards non-gulf countries like US, Russia, Venezuela, Nigeria and so on. This put further pressure on the Gulf. One by one with multiple other economic deals too at offer, many gulf states started honoring the Indian PM with their highest National Civilian Awards. Falling oil prices and consumption brought a sudden shock of a reality check to the Gulf that half of the Petro dollars wealth of decades got wasted into funding jihad in the middle-east and South Asia. Crown Prince MBS was looking for a big bang IPO for Aramco and the alliance facilitated by sanctioning Iran. It is important to note that MBS has deep imprints of his mentor MBZ of UAE. With concrete rule of MBS in Saudi, tiny UAE now holds tremendous influence all over the Gulf region.

In 2018, UAE prince visited Delhi’s Akshardham Temple for considering a debut of an optimal mix of Temples, Yoga and Ayurveda to push the de-radicalization agenda in the gulf region. Meanwhile, the Israeli Mossad started helping Crown Prince MBS in the kingdom with defense and surveillance assistance. It is important to note that the first debut of opening of Saudi Airspace for travel to Israel was by none other than the Indian Prime Minister Modi. Diplomacy and military operations under him are acing all over the region. Saudi-UAE made way for the first ever invitation to an Indian Foreign Minister in an OIC meeting. India and Israel started jointly making moves to outpace US from the Gulf as Trump looked for a withdrawal from an active military and diplomacy role and rather focus at economy building back home. Pakistan’s CPEC and Iran’s massive deal with China are direct economic and existential dangers for UAE, Saudi and Israel. India and Israel are now jointly offering everything which US alone used to offer to Saudi-UAE. The alliance is obliged by Saudi-UAE pressure on Pakistan to return back the extended financial aid and stopping deferred supply of oil.

Saudi-UAE gradually withdrew from supporting Palestinian cause and supported India’s Kashmir moves of removing the special provisions. Jared Kushner, Netanyahu and Dr. S Jaishankar seems to have personally took the lead in the peace deals idea. President Trump was made to showcase the peace deals just days before the elections to get him back in office. Saudi-UAE went on taking steps from slowing down raising of new mosques to keeping a check on radical migrants from Pakistan to diluting the Islamic kafala system and so on. Israeli companies are now doing contracts which means from next year start Jews will start landing in the Gulf for permanent job and stay. Saudi Arabia now uses Mossad’s technology extensively for security and defense purposes. Netanyahu recently displayed its precision strike capability deep inside Iran by knocking a top nuclear scientist. US has signed some big defense contracts with Saudi-UAE. India is securing defense contracts and diplomatic alliance with Saudi-UAE aiming to further corner Pakistan in the region and is raising claims to re-occupy POK soon. India is also offering a big Reliance-Jio and Aramco business deal to Saudi Arabia. There could soon be talks on opening investments opportunities for friendly nations like Saudi, UAE and France in Kashmir to open resorts or adventure sports jointly with Indian partners. UAE is also being offered joint defense production contracts. All these even as India stays put in Chabahar project of Iran which to an extent saves Tehran from quick attack by its enemies. The diplomatic heft of Delhi is mind-boggling as it conducts exercises and seals similar contracts with both Moscow and Washington. While Delhi silently urges the West to put economic sanctions on the belligerent Chinese, it goes on to sign rice export contracts with China while the violent face-off still continues with Beijing in the north.

This week is a historic moment for India as its army chief will be on his first ever visit to the Kingdom and the UAE. The visit is a big move amid uncertainty in the US governance and clarity of Saudi-UAE with respect to long term alliance with Israel. The visit might see vetting over some game-changer weapons platform or military deal with India. The days of Pakistani workers in the Gulf looks numbered looking at the potential inflow of Jewish employees and de-radicalization agenda of the Gulf rulers. Crown Prince MBS looks all set to sort out the Al Saud family members if they come in the way of modernization once the aged and ailing King Salman is no more. India and Israel look committed to give a leadership in the middle-east so as to cut out the concept of violent jihad from the very place of its origin.

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Ankit Shah
Ankit Shah
Indo-Pacific Security & Foreign Policy Observer, Consultant, PhD scholar and Past Academic & Research Associate of IIM Ahmedabad. Follow his twitter handle @ankitatIIMA for China-Pak issues.
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