National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Wednesday met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman to counter Pakistan's version on Kashmir. NSA Doval's visit to Saudi Arabia comes days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan had visited the country.
According to a report with India Today, the one-on-one meeting between the two leaders lasted for about two hours.
Among the many bilateral issues discussed, the status of Jammu and Kashmir was also part of the discussion.
National security advisor Ajit Doval travelled to Riyadh on Tuesday to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and hold discussions on bilateral and regional issues.
Doval’s visit is a signal from New Delhi of the importance given to ties and sentiments of the Saudi leadership.
The NSA’s presence is significant not merely because he is the highest-ranking emissary of the prime minister. He has personally spearheaded the government action in Kashmir after Parliament voted to de-operationalise Article 370 of the Constitution.
Doval will emphasise to the Saudi leadership on how the move was an internal one, how the whole idea has been to integrate Kashmir with the rest of the country by allowing all laws and benefits applicable to the country in that state.
Pakistan’s diplomatic exertions in the past few weeks brought it support from countries like China, Malaysia and Turkey.
Interestingly, both the UAE and Saudi Arabia have played a much more neutral role, despite a statement by the Kashmir contact group of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.
India’s relationship with Saudi Arabia has deepened in recent years to go beyond the energy-diaspora connect to encompass security, counter-terrorism and defence, areas that were rarely touched in earlier times. This has transformed relations between India and the two premier Gulf powers of UAE and Saudi Arabia.