Saudi-India Ties Improving At The Cost Of Pakistan

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Context
Saudi Arabia’s efforts in arresting two suspects linked to 2008 Mumbai attack is being read as a shift in its policy toward India and Pakistan.

Last week, Saudi Arabia deported Syed Zabiuddin Ansari for his role in the Mumbai rampage. Zabiuddin had later travelled to Saudi Arabia on a Pakistani passport where he collected funds and carried out recruitment for future attacks. Saudi police has also detained Fasih Mehmood, who is accused of involvement in terror-linked activities as well. Both men were arrested on intelligence provided by American authorities.

The arrests represent a shift in Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy attitude towards India and Pakistan. Traditionally, Saudi foreign policy posture had been tilted toward Pakistan, supporting the country on its long-standing dispute over Kashmir with India.

The ties between India and Saudi Arabia have been improving since 2006. King Abdullah visited India in 2010 and the two nations agreed to cooperate in several areas including energy, counterterrorism, narcotics, money laundering and extradition.