South Asians for Human Rights

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Kashmir not discussed during PM Modi-Saudi prince meet
Prime Minister Modi visited Saudi Arabia on October 28 and held bilateral talks with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman. (Photo: Twitter/@MEAIndia)

Saudi Arabia stands firm with India despite several attempts by Pakistan to call on the Muslim world to stand against India after the Centre abrogated certain provisions of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir.

Speaking to India Today, Indian envoy to Saudi Arabia Dr Ausaf Sayeed said the relationship between the two countries cannot be hyphenated with any other country.

When asked whether the Kashmir issue was discussed during the bilateral meetings with the Saudi King and the Crown Prince, Sayeed said, “Our relationship with Saudi Arabia is so vast that it doesn’t focus on one specific issue. They understand our position and as a country, they also have a policy of non-interference in any country’s internal matters. This is an indication of our relationship with Saudi Arabia that it is not hyphenated with any other country. It is an independent relationship that is on an upward trajectory.”


In a joint statement released on Tuesday, Sayeed said, “The two sides discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest, and reiterated their categorical rejection of all forms of interference in internal affairs.”

India and Saudi Arabia have moved beyond religion. The shift has been visible in the recent past when despite all manoeuvrings and pleas of Pakistan, they could not get their application moved against India at the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva which had a huge chunk of the OIC bloc. Riyadh certainly holds a key position in that bloc.

To the question on Pakistan invoking religion to get Riyadh’s attention, the Indian envoy said, “We have moved beyond that. The Saudi side is very categorical. They see India as one entity and not as sub-groups or sub colours. I’m sure the Saudi leadership has given enough indication that they will not allow any such influence to be made. The relationship is between countries. India is an example of a country with so much diversity and unity in that diversity.”


Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has been urging the international community to unite against India for the alleged atrocities and marginalisation of the Muslim community in Kashmir.

But apart from a clear stand taken by Saudi Arabia of “non-interference” in the “internal” matters of other countries, officials say the fact that they haven’t spoken against India’s Kashmir decision in many ways shows greater “political understanding” of New Delhi’s position.


Updated On: October 31, 2019