Saudi Arabia’s Visionary Approach

The easing of tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran after China’s mediatory role has gained much fame across the globe. Although China has played a vital role in this thaw, the importance of Saudi Arabia’s Vision for 2030 cannot be neglected. All the developments taking place throughout the Middle East have some relation to Saudi Arabia’s vision. The vision revolves around three main pillars of making this peninsula a) ambitious nation; b) vibrant society, c) thriving economy. There are a number of lessons that developing countries, especially Pakistan, can learn from this boiling pot.

First, the Crown Prince, Muhammad Suleman, has never forgotten the founding stone of their ideology and civilization. The Crown Prince’s animus towards building an ambitious nation can be seen through his works. Critics accused Saudi Arabia of having faux diplomatic relations with Israel. Later, the Foreign Minister of the former rejected the critics claim and said that Saudi Arabia will never accept Israel, despite having agreed to a two-state solution in Palestine, with which the latter would agree. Furthermore, the display of the Islamic Arts Biennale is a success story that shows the country’s intention of propagating art across the world. Moreover, the crown has provided ample opportunities for women, where the relegation of “Mutawa” or “religious police” is a glaring example that the state is kind to women. All developments show that Saudi Arabia is eager to develop an ambitious nation, thereby achieving its Vision 2030.

Secondly, the dream of making Saudi Arabia a vibrant society does not seem so far away. Saudi Arabia has opened its airspace to all, even and odd. It is developing a mammoth six-runway airport in Riyadh .It shows that kingdom is keen to wean its oil driven economy to a tourism rich economy. It will carry around 120 million passengers by 2030 .This step will undoubtedly make Saudi Arab society more vibrant. The top officials desire to make at least three cities in Saudi Arabia globally recognized cities in the world. Whereas , the Saudi Arabian Ministry has formulated a clear road map for reducing unemployment from 11 to 7 percent by 2030. These parameters will set lessons for other developing as well as developed countries about how visionary policies can transform a deserted peninsula into a vibrant society

Thirdly, the thriving economy is in accordance with Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision. Surprisingly, Saudi Arabia managed to add a 27-billion-dollar surplus to its 2022 GDP amid the Ukraine war crisis. Organizing Hollywood and Bollywood concerts shows its soft image to the world, whereas, the millions of participants in the concerts definitely contribute positively to the economy as well. In addition to this, the privatization of government services will beef up innovative technologies and the economy of the state.

Fourthly, the astute diplomatic approach by the Saudi Arab is a glaring example that national interest holds a prominent position in foreign policy. Saudi Arabia, in less than two months, becomes a member of the SCO, eases tensions with Iran, leads a Saudi-Oman delegation to Yemen, and negotiates a permanent cease fire with Houthi rebels. Saudi Arabia did all this because a peaceful neighborhood guarantees sustainable development. Thus, in a peaceful environment, Saudi Arabia can do trade with many countries, including its longtime adversaries. All these will help Saudi Arabia achieve its long lasting interests and objectives.

Lastly, Pakistan needs to learn from this progressive approach of its Islamic counterpart. The way Saudi Arabia displays its belligerent attitude towards its archrival Iran must be followed by Pakistan against India. Table talks should be promoted, and global players must be engaged to solve the issues between Pakistan and India. Moreover, Pakistan should formulate a long term visionary policy in which all stakeholder groups must participate. The focus must be on political stability, economic growth, social harmony, and productive diplomacy, along with implementation guarantees. It must not be treated the way Ahsan Iqbal’s Vision 2025 was treated. The need of the hour is to act now and think about Pakistan.

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