Obama had to cut short his trip to India and travel to Saudi Arabia. The US President, along with his entourage offered condolences for the death of King Abdullah and paid respect to the new ruler, King Salman of the oil-rich country. However, according to the Guardian, the objective was to protect the bilateral interests of both countries with the new ascension to the Saudi throne. This is so, even when both countries shared disagreement over international negotiations, relating to Iran’s nuclear program and inability of US to remove Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Saudi Arabia incorporates practices that might not be seen by the US in the same light as other Islamic countries. The legal system of the country is based on Shariah law which means beheading, stoning to death, flogging. The society in Saudi Arabia is very conservative, strict and male-dominated with common practices such as music schools, movie theatres, gyms for women, valentine’s day celebrations, women driving completely banned. This is very different to the community in Pakistan, which is liberal, providing better rights for both genders.

Although Saudi Arabia is oil rich, even Pakistan bears extensive agricultural and energy resources but it does not have the technology and infrastructure for resource management. Another very important factor is that US has applauded Saudi Arabia for its stability, when the Middle Eastern region, as well as the Muslim world faces a pandemonium and terrorist invasions.

BARRISTER MOBEEN SHAH,

United Kingdom, January 28.