Vol. 5 No. 2 (2022): Pakistan Journal of International Affairs
Articles

SAUDI ARABIA-IRAN COMPETITION IN THE REGIONAL POLITICS CONCERN FOR PAKISTAN AN ANALYSIS

Published 2022-06-29

Abstract

For a long time, Middle East marked itself as a flashpoint of conflict, competition and rivalry. The post-1979 insurgency saw a heightening competition between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The web of competition not only entangles regional powers but global ones also. Islamabad, for instance, is an important extra-regional player which finds itself, caught between Iran and Saudi Arabia while trying to navigate the hot waters of regional politics. The Yemen emergency in 2015 presented difficulties for territorial procedure of lack of bias because Pakistan had accepted Saudi Arabia’s call for troops in the Yemeni battle that Pakistan brought down because of the alleged outcome of Iran's frame of mind.Set in this context, this paper maintains that, before analyzing the challenges of RiyadhTehran competition for Pakistan, it is utmost important to deeply identify the cause of the competition and, only then, evaluate the nature of challenges to Pakistan and formulate its foreign policy calculus. This study argues that Saudi Arabia-Iran competition is multidimensional in its nature and, therefore, has morphed into an unending and unrelenting quest for regional hegemony. In this milieu, Pakistan’s choice to tilt towards Saudi Arabia is not strategically wise since Iran is its existential reality, immediate neighbor. For this reason, Qualitative Content Analysis was utilized and, based on this empirical analytical method, this paper offers insights by taking accounts of significant events and developments that took place from 2010 to 2018.