Aramco attack implications to go beyond region: Pakistani expats

Undated photo for Pakistan Complex at the Pakistan Association, Dubai, UAE. ( Photo credit Pakistan Association Dubai)
Updated 18 September 2019

Aramco attack implications to go beyond region: Pakistani expats

  • Say the economic conditions will become challenging after this incident including in the UAE
  • As a community, feel terrible and all our support is with Saudi Arabia,” - Pakistani expat Dr Hadi Shahid

DUBAI: The economic implications of the attacks on Aramco oil facilities will be felt way further than the region, say representatives of the Pakistani community in the UAE.
Expressing concerns over the attacks that took place on Saudi Arabia’s biggest oil supply chain early on Saturday, the Pakistani community members in the UAE said that the economic outcomes will pose a challenge immediately and in the long run as well.
“Conflict is in nobody’s interest and whoever is behind the attacks, obviously has a bigger agenda,” Javed Khamisani, CEO of Allianz Hosting, an IT Services Company operating in the UAE, Pakistan and UK, told Arab News.
“We, in the UAE, are not immune to implications of the attack and the consequential increase in the oil prices. In fact, the impact will be felt globally and especially so in Pakistan which is highly dependent on imports,” said Khamisani.
Global oil prices are already 10 percent higher since the attack on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil infrastructure.
Ahmed Shaikhani, vice president of Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai, condemned the attack in clear terms.
“This attack should not have happened...the economic conditions are already not too viable worldwide and will further become challenging after this incident including in the UAE,” he told Arab News, adding that the common man would bear the brunt of this attack.
According to Khamisani, the disruption in oil production would drive up costs, impacting the salaried class majorly. “Transport costs will go up and it will make a huge difference to the day to day life of common man...budgets will be affected. This will happen only in the UAE, where majority of the people are from the salaried class, but even beyond the region, until Pakistan.”
However, the President of Pakistan Business Council (PBC) in Dubai, Iqbal Dawood was quite optimistic that the situation would was short lived and would be handled well.
“A disturbance has definitely been created and oil prices have gone up but I am positive that all the problems will be resolved in a proper manner since the leadership in Saudi Arabia is very strong,” he said.
The attacks on Aramco’s main crude processing facility knocked out 5.7 million barrels of daily oil production for Saudi Arabia, or more than five percent of the world’s daily crude production.
Dr. Hadi Shahid, Chartered Accountant and Managing Partner, Alliot, UAE said that “We, as a community, feel terrible and all our support is with Saudi Arabia at this point,” adding that the country’s leadership was strong and would get to the heart of the matter.
Global energy prices spiked Monday by a percentage unseen since the 1991 Gulf War after the weekend attack on key oil facilities in Saudi Arabia caused the worst disruption to world supplies on record, further fueling heightened tensions between Iran and the US.
Saudi Arabia is the world’s biggest crude exporter and one of the top producers. The attack removed half of its output- 5.7 million barrels per day (bpd), or the equivalent to five percent of global supplies.


Guru Nanak's anniversary: Pakistan set to open world's largest Sikh temple

Updated 21 October 2019

Guru Nanak's anniversary: Pakistan set to open world's largest Sikh temple

  • The project is a rare recent example of diplomatic cooperation between the two South Asian rivals
  • ‘The work on our side has been completed,’ FO spokesperson

LAHORE: Pakistan is all set to open the world’s largest Sikh temple to pilgrims and the public on Nov. 9, as construction work on the Kartarpur corridor enters its final stages, Prime Minister Imran Khan announced on his official Facebook page on Sunday.
The visa-free border crossing from India to Kartarpur in Pakistan will be inaugurated just ahead of one of Sikhism’s most sacred festivals, and the 550th birthday of the religion’s founder, Guru Nanak on Nov. 12.
“Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe, as the construction work on Kartarpur project enters final stages and will be open to public on 9th November, 2019,” the Prime Minister said on Facebook.
He added: “World’s largest Gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world.”
The Kartarpur project is a rare recent example of diplomacy between the two South Asian rivals, who came to the brink of war in February this year. In August, relations were further inflamed when India flooded its portion of the disputed Kashmir valley with troops, imposed a communications lockdown and revoked the special legal status of the territory.
Since then, diplomatic relations between the two countries have been virtually non existent, with Pakistan recalling its envoy from India and banning bilateral trade.
But for the Sikh minority population in India’s northern state of Punjab and elsewhere, the diplomatic overture from Pakistan will come as a relief. The community has long sought easier access to the temple in Kartarpur, a village just 4 km over the border in Pakistan, and which otherwise requires a lengthy visa and travel process.
Instead of visas, Sikh and other pilgrims will now be given special permits to access the shrine, with online registration from the Indian interior ministry live on Sunday.
Earlier, reports in Indian media said Pakistan and India would sign off on a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the Kartarpur corridor last week, but spokesperson for the Pakistan foreign office, Dr. Muhammad Faisal, denied the confirmation of any dates. He added that Pakistan’s portion of work on the project was complete.
“The work on our side has been completed,” Faisal told Arab News by telephone on Thursday.
Indian Punjab’s Chief Minister, Amarinder Singh, has invited the leaders of all Indian political parties to join him to cross the border to the Gurdwara for the opening ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian side of the corridor but it is yet unclear whether he will cross into Pakistan following the event.
Indian pilgrims will pay Pakistan $20 to use the corridor, which includes roadways, a bridge over the Ravi River and an immigration office, with up to 5,000 Indians to be allowed access daily.