GCC cooperation. Iran is the common cord that

GCC came into existence to build, promote,
and integrate wider cooperation not only on economic but also on security and
social fronts between its member states. There are certain achievements
observable in its efforts to maintain stronger ties between its members,
particularly on integration of stronger economic relation. But there are
certain lacks of consensus on security and foreign policies fronts. Failure to
build cooperation in these areas have produced bitter fissures between GCC
members. Fissure inter GCC is widening particularly with sanctions and blockade
on tiny gas resources rich Qatar from other GCC members. Doha (Qatar’s capital)
continues to exercise restraint not only in responding to Emirati, Saudi,
Egyptian and Bahraini criticism but also to Iranian overtures for greater
cooperation. Iran is the common cord that most members of the GCC consider responsible
for the instability prevailing throughout the Middle East. Hence, the GCC has
demanded assurances from the US with regard to countering Iranian regional
influence while welcoming the Iranian nuclear deal negotiated between Iran and
P5+11.

Strong social, shared historical and
religious ties, shared security challenges, political, and economic
interdependence defines the relationship between Pakistan and the GCC. Trade
and commerce as well as Pakistan migrant workers contribute huge remittances to
the economy every year. Fissure in GCC has the potential to implicate adverse
impacts on Pakistan as well. Challenges for Pakistan in form of sectarian
violence, socio economic challenges and many others came to surface after the
Yemen war and Pakistan’s stance. Shattered with menace of terrorism (that has
internal and external factors) especially after joining the global war on
terror, it is not easy for Pakistan to indulge in any outside conflict. The
situation of GCC also presents opportunities for Pakistan. For Pakistan as a
leader and sole atomic power in Muslim world there is huge potential in the
area of the investment, and wish from both sides to expand cooperation therein.
However, involvement in major economic projects in the GCC region as well as
further investment by the GCC in areas such as education (especially higher
education), health care, agriculture, Information and Technology, and research
and development (R&D) would shape relationship more successfully. Even
education exchange programs, including regular interaction between students,
scholars, and academicians, would help to create a platform for the cross
fertilization of ideas and thoughts regarding issues crucial to both India and
the GCC.

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5.1        
Recommendations

Based
on the understanding of current study following recommendations can be set;

·        
GCC members must and should look for solutions
of internal conflict on their own instead of indulging and complicating fissure
through inclusion of third parties.

·        
Keeping in mind the actual goals of forming
GCC, its members must focus on cooperation on all levels.

·        
Keeping in view the social fabrics Pakistan can
only help in providing neutral and supportive role in resolving any fissures.

·        
Any further involvement of Pakistan in the inter-Arab
or Arab-Iran conflicts can produce severe consequences in its social and
political order. Hence the already taken stance of Pakistan’s parliament on
Yemen issue, to stay neutral can serve best. 

·        
Pakistan can help in bringing consensus between
KSA and Iran (has already focused diplomacy in this regard)

·        
Building stronger bilateral relations with GCC
members should be the focus of policy makers of Pakistan.

·        
With strong bilateral relations in social,
military, economic, political and other aspects, we can create environment that
produces peace and coexistence of brotherly Muslim countries.

·        
Bilateral relations will also ensure further
strength in economic and commerce fields for Pakistan.

·        
Pakistan should adopt a sustained diplomatic
effort instead of the diplomatic withdrawals we saw during Yemen and Syria.
Now, however, in the wake of the Gulf crisis, for Pakistan’s prudent policy of
non-alignment to prevail, a monumental and, more importantly, proactive,
diplomatic effort will be required from Islamabad. Pakistan’s diplomatic corps
should make a case for, not just its lack of desire to pick one side against
the other, but also, and more importantly, its inability to intervene in light
of a protracted conflict of its own. As one of the increasingly few parties
that maintain alliances with both sides in the crisis, Islamabad has the
perfect opportunity to not only navigate its way out of the crisis without
taking sides, but to further strengthen its current alliances and its policy of
non-alignment in such confrontations. Again, this can only be achieved through
a sustained diplomatic push that legitimises Pakistan’s policy of non-alignment
not as a bystander but as a mediator.

1Ismaeel Naar, “US-GCC talks aimed to
reassure over Iran nuclear deal”, AlArabiya, 3 August 2015, at
https://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/
analysis/2015/08/04/Analysis-U-S-GCC-talks-on-Iran-much-more-on-fixingnew-realities-.html.