LAHORE – A man holding a Pakistani passport, which identified him as ‘Riasat Ali’ was found to be an Indian national, Zabiuddin Ansari, after he was arrested by Saudi authorities earlier this year. Indian sources claim DNA samples acquired from Ansari’s family and sent to Saudi Arabia’s intelligence service Ri’asat al-Istikhbarat al-Amah, facilitated his custodial release. Zakiuddin Ansari and Rehana Begum, the parents of Zabiuudin Ansari, have since vehemently denied reports that they were ever approached for provision of DNA samples. But, whatever the dynamics, this example is given merely to illustrate a growing relationship, where previously there was none. The Saudi relationship with India is ringing alarm bells in ‘Pindi. US officials are pleased at any move that helps distance India from Iran. Saudi Arabia sees a golden opportunity of being the largest supplier of oil to India’s huge market.Relations between India and Saudi Arabia were renewed when King Abdullah attended India’s Republic Day Parade as chief guest, back in 2006. Both countries have entered into various mutually beneficial agreements since then, in security and military sectors. In the security sector, the agreements range from training of Saudi officials to cooperation in counterterrorism efforts. Militarily, the armed services are interacting with each other as never before. Mutual exercises once unheard of in the bilateral context are now becoming routine, providing an insight into the deepening bilateral relationship, which is being followed with a glad eye by officials in Washington.The Saudi tilt towards India, more and more conspicuous with the passage of time may be an insurance against the threat of Al-Qaeda and accompanying peril to the Al-Saud hierarchy. Did Saudi Arabia consult Pakistan on the issue…? The details are not overtly available. One the whole, it appears that the Gulf countries are becoming increasingly disenchanted with Pakistan. Is it poor diplomacy on our part or our attitude problem? When Pakistan launched its bid to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations in October last year Abdullah Husain Haroon, the permanent representative of Pakistan in the United Nations, revealed that many of the countries that were considered as friends of Pakistan did not support its bid for the UN Presidency and as such were no longer as proud as before to be its friends.  Pakistani diplomats posted abroad during the last decade are now needed to play a more active role and do a better job than ever before. Their active diplomacy and continued interaction with the host governments in these tumultuous years when Pakistan is confronted by disquieting extremist trends, may help restore host countries’ confidence in Pakistan.Besides diplomacy, persistent acts of terrorism, religious extremism, and political instability also added to the spiral decline in the image of Pakistan. Religious extremism divides society and the sitting government is finding it difficult to grapple with a noisome opposition and the judicial activism that affected its focus on more pressing issues facing the nation.