Wonderfully put. That's what I've been trying to highlight too. We should put our own house in order first before helping anyone else.Dear Sir,
I have been following you on this and the other forum for a decade now and i usually understand your perspective. However in this instance i fail to do so.
I have lived in the GCC (ksa+uae) for 28 yrs and just recently moved to north america.
The way the GCC families looked at Pakistan in general was cheap labour, servants and hired guns and same would have continued had we helped with yemen.
Guaranteed jobs - this benefit has already been squeezed dry since the formation of OIC. Infact our people helped develop institutions for the GCC states while during the same period in homeland the same institutes were being torn apart (classic case of PIA v Emirates). Yes we have earned a few billion dollars in forex reserves each year but our increased reliance on this income has become a weakness which is now being exploited by our GCC friends.
A very important point that i do not see in the assesment of most people about GCC-PAK relations is the exponential growth of Indian influnce in the GCC. The most number of small and medium size business owners in the UAE are Indians and i can say that based on facts and figures which i was privy to when i worked in Dubai and the SMEs provided 70% employment in UAE so one can understand the impact on economy.
Further there are now several large size indian firms operating in oil& gas and construction sector in GCC.
Point i am trying to make is that GCC may help Pakistan but not at the expense of tbeir relations with India. It is now time that we re-visit our GCC policy.
We were at war imposed on us by our enemies using proxies (TTP), it was a long and bloody war with many military and civilian lives lost, the lessons learnt from that war helped us to not dive head first into another war. We would not have survived it.
Saudi cities are under constant threat of missile/rocket attacks, Iran is our next door neighbour and we have several Irani lobbyist in Pak as you have rightly pointed out, so why take the risk. Why should we disturb the fragile peace we have achieved at such heavy cost.
What GCC asked of us and the timing of it was wrong and what they offered in return could not have been good enough to bite. As i said they would not offer anything to us at the expense of india, because they cant do it.
Lastly, the pot is not as full as it used to be. GCC's economy is not doing well is an understatement.
Yemen also started during our own operations in FATA and heated skirmishes with the Farsiban army of "Afghanistan".
Regarding the small and large businesses operating in GCC. Then I'm afraid that is not the fault of the Arabs or their discrimination towards us. That is the shortcomings of our government and our peoples mindsets. If our government was sane and acted like a governing body then it would've encouraged Pakistani expats to open their own business. From small take aways to construction and taxi companies.
GOP should have released a loan system for those expats. Where grats and loans would've been given to then with deferred payments for a few months to a year. Along with advice and case studies. That would've given them enough time to start profiting. Sure it might have been a burden at the start but the fruits it would've bared would have been worthwhile. From influence to more money being sent back to Pakistan.
Most of those companies should've been encouraged to buy from Pakistan too. For example cement.