Vol. 2 No. 2&3 (2014): CISS Insight Quarterly News & Views, June - Sep 2014

Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Strategic Relations: An Assessment

Ms. Khushboo Ahmad
Post-graduate Student of Security Studies at Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
Muhammad Faisal
Research Assistant at the Center for International Strategic Studies (CISS)
CISS Insight Journal 2014
Published October 6, 2014
How to Cite
Ms. Khushboo Ahmad, & Muhammad Faisal. (2014). Pakistan-Saudi Arabia Strategic Relations: An Assessment. CISS Insight Journal, 2(2&3), Vol.2,No.3 P23-37. Retrieved from https://journal.ciss.org.pk/index.php/ciss-insight/article/view/180


Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have maintained religious, economic, social, and security ties for the last sixty-seven years. The two Islamic states established diplomatic relations shortly after Pakistan emerged as an independent state and have remained friendly since then, though their relations experienced occasional periods of strain. Strategic and economic cooperation between the two states deepened as human capital requirements of Saudi Arabia and Pakistan’s need for economic assistance brought the two countries closer. Continuity in their relations and the role both countries have played in the wider Islamic world has made this relationship a special one. The two countries continue to regularly hold consultations at the highest political level on regional and global security issues, while pursuing independent policies based on their respective national interests.

Since 1960s, a number of factors pushed Pakistan and Saudi Arabia closer to each other. Initially these new bonds were strengthened due to the growing role of Pakistan in Persian Gulf security, and Pakistan’s attempt to seek new regional allies after the 1971 war with India. During 1980s, Afghan war against the Soviet forces opened new avenues for cooperation. Generous Saudi economic assistance allowed Pakistan to weather international economic sanctions which were imposed after it conducted nuclear tests in 1998. Since then, the two countries have maintained good relations which have endured various domestic crises. Their relations have also survived geostrategic changes at the regional and the international level. These include improvement in Saudi-Indian relations, the end of the Cold War, and recent Iran related tensions.