Lost opportunity

Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke protocol and personally went to the airport to receive the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. The PM greeted him next to his special plane with his signature bear hug. This even as the nation is still mourning the killing of 40 CRPF personnel in a suicide bombing in Pulwama in Jammu & Kashmir. Salman visited Pakistan before coming to India and pledged 20 billion dollars of investment. India has been seething with anger over the involvement of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed in the Pulwama bombing and subsequent refusal of Pakistan PM Imran Khan to act against Jaish and its leadership. Modi could have avoided going to the airport and should have instead sent a senior minister to receive the visiting dignitary.
The Saudi leader also did not make any comment on Pulwama and Pakistan’s role in exporting terrorism to India, which was a big letdown. In the wake of such a dastardly incident, India should have at least extracted strong words of condemnation, and commitment to put pressure on Pakistan to act against terrorists, from the Saudis. The whole world knows that Saudi Arabia yields immense influence over Pakistan. They are the biggest source of investment for Pakistan. Therefore, one can easily consider that this was a lost opportunity for the India to put some pressure on Saudi to act against Pakistan.