EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Pakistan is stepping through a minefield as it concludes agreements on investment, balance of payments support, and delayed payment oil deliveries with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates worth $13 billion. These deals are likely to spawn growing distrust in its relations with neighboring Iran.
Next month, Pakistani PM Imran Khan expects to sign a memorandum of understanding with Saudi Arabia on a framework for $10 billion in Saudi investment, primarily in oil refining, petrochemicals, renewable energy, and mining. The signing is to take place during a planned visit to Pakistan by Saudi Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman.
The memorandum follows the kingdom’s rewarding of Khan for his attendance at a foreign investors summit in Riyadh in October that was shunned by numerous CEOs of Western financial institutions, tech entrepreneurs, and media moguls, as well as senior Western government officials, because of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on the premises of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.