South Asia Monitor: Pakistan, The Middle East and Central Asia - February 01, 2001
February 1, 2001
For Pakistan, the Muslim Middle East and Central Asia represent the hope of strategic depth, an identity outside of its competition with India, and a hoped-for source of both energy supply and economic support. Pakistan's strong relations with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are built on common interests, shared objectives in the region, and personal ties to the rulers. Afghanistan, once a common cause across the Muslim world, has become the principal problem area in Pakistan's relations with Iran, once a major strategic connection, and its newer ties with Central Asia.