Do the people of Pakistan have the right to know why Saudi Arabia has gifted $ 1.5 billion to Pakistan and why Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has tried hard to keep this a secret and said during a press conference, ‘why do you want to expose our friends? The country which helped us does not want its name disclosed.’ If Saudi Arabia has given our country a gift, then why did the Finance Minister say that this money was given on personal guarantee of the Prime Minister?

The real question is, what does Saudi Arabia want from Pakistan in return for their largesse? Why would the Saudi royal family also not want the people of Pakistan to know that they have given the money just to help us? Every thinking Pakistani knows that no country in the world gives money to another country without any interest. There is no free lunch! I think Saudi Arabia wants to protect its monarchy and wants to suppress any democratic movement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Due to Saudi Arabia, the Muslim countries are not able to have the benefit of democracy, particularly the Pakistani conservative and religious leadership wants to make Pakistan like Saudi Arabia, where the Wahabi sect’s Shariah is enforced, which doesn’t allow even women to drive cars.

Pakistan has paid a heavy price for Saudi friendship, who being a Muslim country has never considered Pakistan a Muslim brother and have treated us as slaves and labourers. Due to Saudi Arabia’ hate for Iran Shiah there is now a split in the Gulf Corporations Council. It is also known that Saudi Arabia is supporting the Al-Qaeda affiliated group in Syria against Shiah and also that the Saudi is supporting the military dictatorship in Egypt.

In a democracy where the public elects the government it has the right to know what the government is doing in its name and that what the government is doing against the public. Our democratic government’ stance has been that they have never consulted the people while making decision which affects the national interest. The politicians feel no remorse in telling lies and hiding the facts from the people.

ENGR. S.T. HUSSAIN,

Lahore, March 27.