Pakistan and Bahrain: The story of two brothers

Public diplomacy is one of the essential foreign policy tool in 21st century in globalized world. It is a tool which leads the states of world to reach and fascinate the foreign audience, meanwhile, they could improve their global image and promote their values or possibly fulfill their national interests.

Pakistan and the Kingdom of Bahrain share the most cordial brotherly relations that are firmly rooted in history. We share the same faith, our social and cultural fabric is almost identical, we celebrate the same festivals and follow the same value system which strengthen the bond between the two countries. In my opinion, just like our history, even our future is connected. Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa during his visit to Pakistan in 2005 termed Pakistan as his second home and stated that Pakistan was the country which was held in the highest esteem by the leadership and the people of Bahrain. Both countries enjoy the best relations based on Islamic Brotherhood & Solidarity. These relations are very strong and unshakable and both are cooperating with each other in every field at all levels.

Our close geographical proximity and the presence of a large number of Pakistanis in Bahrain ensure that our socio-economic ties continue to grow. The People of Pakistan and Bahrain are closely connected through faith, cultural, family and economic ties and we feel proud to see stability, progress and prosperity in each other’s countries. This is a glowing tribute to the love shared between our countries, our people and our leadership. A combination of cultural and public diplomacy is not only a powerful tool that can improve public image but can also help in bringing economic investment and tourism opportunities.

Bilateral trade between Bahrain and Pakistan amounts to a mere $500 million. Pakistan has contributed in many ways towards the development of the Kingdom of Bahrain and there are over 60,000 Pakistani’s working and living in the kingdom as respected individuals.

Pakistani army has been providing Bahrain thousands of soldiers for its crackdown on protests. Bahrain bringing soldiers from Pakistan for crackdown on protestor in Bahrain “Pakistanis, particularly Balochs, make up a large part of the Bahraini force, Pakistani troops aid Bahrain’s crackdown.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said “Pakistan considers Bahrain a close friend, trusted partner”.

“Our bilateral relations are founded on shared history, cultural linkages and strong people-to-people contacts”.

The Prime Minister warmly welcomed the delegation to Pakistan. He appreciated the active participation of Bahraini delegation in the parliamentary engagements with Pakistan. He stated that cooperation between the Parliaments of the two countries would further strengthen the brotherly ties. The Prime Minister recalled the high-level exchanges between the two brotherly countries. The prime minister stated that “Our desire is to further strengthen and expand cooperation with Bahrain in areas such as energy, trade and economic fields for mutual benefit of both countries”. These good relations provide strength to both muslim states as they will be there for each other in case of need and both states interests will be fulfilled.

So these practices of public diplomacy, these exchange and brotherly relations create good image of both countries in the eyes of their people and these exchange help states to show the  soft image to world.

Maria Asmat
Maria Asmat
Defence and Diplomatic Studies, Fatima Jinnah Woman University Rawalpindi