On October 23, 2018, Saudi Arabia kicked off the “Future Investment Initiative” conference, showcasing the country’s progress and reforms. One of the high-profile guests at the conference was Pakistan’s new Prime Minister Imran Khan.
In September and October 2018, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi held two meetings in Islamabad and Washington to renegotiate the terms of engagement.
In July 2018, Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that India was going ahead with the purchase of the S-400 Triumf missile shield from Russia. The US had on numerous occasions conveyed its discomfort with India’s decision to make this purchase.
Amidst political turmoil and deadlock, Maldives voted in its third democratic election on September 23, 2018. Opposition leader Ibrahim Solih secured 58.3 percent against President Abdul Yameen, a strongman politician who conceded defeat with 41.7 percent vote share.
The US decision to cancel USD 300 million in military aid on September 1, 2018, just four days before Pompeo’s visit, came in for heavy criticism from sections of the Pakistan media as well as the political class.
During the recent floods in Kerala, a number of countries offered assistance, but two GCC countries, the UAE and Qatar, were the fastest to react. The UAE offered aid to the tune of INR 7 billion while Qatar pledged USD 5 million.
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s tweets indicate the possible opportunities in the bilateral India-Pakistan relationship. The relationship has many dimensions, the first of which is the situation in Afghanistan and the likely role of the US.
In the first address after his triumph, Pakistani Prime Minister designate Imran Khan emphasized the need for robust ties between Pakistan and its neighbors, in particular the possible role which Pakistan could play in a reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.