Why does Saudi Arabia need the Indian Army’s help?
Saudi Arabia’s army is one of the most equipped armies in the world but they are one of the least trained armed forces. The biggest reason for that is the constant fear of a coup against the Saudi Royal. Therefore there are always a small section of Pakistani soldiers stationed in Saudi Arabia to protect the Saudi Royals. This is something which is not going to change in the near future but due to the disagreements between the Pakistani establishment and Saudi Royals, many experts are speculating the future change in the Saudi policy.
The relations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan is also seen with the prism of India. In the past decade, there has been a great degree of closeness between India & Saudi Arabia and its spillover effects are also reminiscent in the Saudi and Pakistani relations. Therefore, this becomes even more important to understand “What Saudi needs from India?”. Here are few major reasons:
STRAINS BETWEEN SAUDI ROYALS AND PAKISTAN: In the past many years, the relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are not in their good terms. Pakistan’s inclination toward Turkey and Iran is loosening their relations with Saudi Arabia. The biggest evidence for that was the sudden demand for the payment of loan given by Saudi Arabia to Pakistan and ending the preference which Pakistan used to get for oil purchases.
NEW GEOPOLITICS OF MIDDLE-EAST: After the end of Mr. Trump’s presidency, the new US’s administration has cleared its stance about its middle-east policy. The new policy is more toward balancing than that of favoring Saudi Arabia. The biggest example for that was the US’s new policy for Yemen. Therefore, Saudi is looking for new partners and new alliances.
SAUDI AND US’s RELATION (BIDEN’S CHANGE): The US’s new Biden administration is very keen to normalize the US-Iran hostility and this keeps Saudi’s at a very peculiar position because Saudi Arabia consider itself as an arch rival of Iran. President Biden is someone who has been at odds with Saudi‘s petro-morchies for a very long time. Unlike President Trump, President Biden would be very harsh toward Saudi’s and Saudi also understands that.
NEW TECHNOLOGICAL AGE: The world is moving away from oil to renewable sources of energy and Saudi also understands that if they want to grow they need other sources to diversify their economy from oil. For diversification they need new partners who could help them to diversify their economy. India is one of the partners they are relying on.
These are the major reasons for the Saudi’s emphasis on India. In return of all the Saudi needs India will be able to gain more influence in Saudi Arabia and the Middle-east. India will gain Saudi Arabia’s investments into India. Now, the military relations are also going boost after the visit of Army Chief Gen. Manoj Mukund Naravane.
In my opinion it won’t be a shock to the majority of the foreign policy experts if the Indian army in future will replace the Pakistan military contingent to become the net security providers to the Saudi Royal family and if this happens in the future, the value of Pakistan in the Saudi eyes will just diminish to a nostalgia.