Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has much to ponder in the new regional dynamic (photo:dpa)

Shifting regional security dynamics: Pakistan balances ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran

Pakistan is gearing up for new regional security dynamics that will inevitably follow the withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan. In addition to solidifying historical ties with China, Islamabad is seeking to maintain relations with long-time Gulf ally, Saudi Arabia, while courting the increasingly influential regional power Iran, but balancing between the two rival nations will likely prove difficult.

Pakistan will find it challenging to maintain cordial relations with both Shiite-dominated Iran and Sunni-majority Saudi Arabia as those countries compete for pre-eminence in a region increasingly wracked by sectarian violence. Islamabad rebuffed Riyadh’s April 2015 request f...

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 Lisa Curtis
Saudi-Pakistani ties are deep and long-standing. An estimated one and a half million Pakistanis live and work in Saudi Arabia, sending home money that has become a vital part of the Pakistan economy.
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