Pakistani Army Commander General Qamar Javed Bajwa visits Saudi Arabia Monday; In an attempt to ease a dispute between the two countries over policies related to the disputed Kashmir region between Pakistan and India.
Tensions escalated between the two sides following statements by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmud Qureshi, in which he criticized the stance of Riyadh and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation on the Kashmir issue, calling for a more hardline stance towards India's behavior in the disputed region.
A Pakistani army spokesman said that Bajwa's visit "focuses - mainly - on military matters," but army and government officials in Pakistan told Reuters that Bajwa would work hard to calm the situation that could - if not change - greatly damage the bank's foreign reserves. Pakistan Central.
Saudi Arabia, its traditional ally, Pakistan, granted a $ 3 billion loan and $ 3.2 billion of credit to buy oil to help it overcome the balance of payments crisis in late 2018.
Out of discontent with Pakistani demands for Riyadh to hold a high-level meeting to shed light on Indian violations in the disputed territory of Kashmir, Saudi Arabia forced Pakistan to repay a billion dollars ahead of schedule, and request another billion dollars from the loan.
Riyadh also did not respond to Pakistani requests to extend the oil facilities, army and Finance Ministry officials told Reuters.
"I think the aim is to convince them that there is no shift in foreign policy," said a senior Pakistani military official.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation - led by Saudi Arabia - only held low-level meetings on Kashmir, despite Islamabad's demands.
Reuters says - quoting analysts - that Saudi Arabia does not want to risk its commercial interests in India in order to support Pakistan on the Kashmir issue. They added that Riyadh may also have reservations about the possibility of Iran joining the Pakistan-China Economic Corridor, which is part of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative.
The Pakistani foreign minister said last week that if Saudi Arabia did not hold a meeting on Kashmir, Pakistan might call a meeting of Islamic countries that support their position on the issue.
Last year, Islamabad withdrew from a forum of Islamic countries at the last minute at the insistence of Riyadh, which considered the meeting an attempt to challenge its leadership of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Hafez Taher Ashrafi, a prominent Pakistani cleric who went to Riyadh before visiting the army chief, expressed optimism, saying that Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have a long history of good relations with Pakistan, adding, "I do not think that matters reached Level of intense disagreement. "