It’s nice to have a friend like King Abdullah
It would be hard for any Pakistani government to turn back a guest who arrived on the King of Saudi Arabia’s personal aircraft. But flying Nawaz Sharif on a royal plane was also good public diplomacy. The Saudis had taken a beating in some Pakistani minds after it became clear that they connived in Sharif recent expulsion on America’s bidding.
But the Saudi assistance to Nawaz Sharif goes beyond merely providing him a ride home. Swaraaj Chauhan at the Moderate Voice reports that “Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz has gifted to Sharif two bulletproof Mercedes cars and also lent a helicopter for use during the elections from his personal fleet.”
Nawaz Sharif might not win the coming election. The Saudis have won, again.