Qatar's announcement to invest in Pakistan is a part of a wider Turkey-led attempt to bring Pakistan into an Islamic alliance, according to a recent report by Cornerstone Global Associates, a London-based strategy and management consultancy.
The report has summarised the geopolitical implications of the proposed Qatari investments in Pakistan and assesses Qatar's ability to fulfil those pledges.
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who was on a recent visit to Pakistan earlier this month, agreed to invest billions of dollars to expand collaboration in the fields of agriculture and food, enhance in the energy sector including LNG and LPG fields and exploration and production of oil and gas.
It was reported that Qatar has promised to invest USD 22 billion in Pakistan.
The report indicated that Turkey was keen to strengthen its relations with Pakistan and bring the South Asian nation into what Turkey sees as a Turkish-led alliance of Muslim states, which also includes Qatar.
"Qatar is home to the Afghanistan Taliban leadership and such a proposed alliance will take this factor into account, giving the pro-Islamist government of Turkey a greater influence in the region. Turkey will use this as a bargaining tool in its deteriorating relationship with the United States," the report said.
"This risks a further deterioration in Pakistani US relations," it added.
Further revealing the Turkish connection behind Qatari investment in Pakistan, the report said, "Qatar has been trying to exert political influence on countries by pledging substantial investments. Qatar's foreign investment strategy in Muslim countries, in particular, has focused on creating a political alliance that would serve its own Islamic alliance, together with Turkey."
In August 2018, Qatar announced it would provide economic assistance to Turkey after the Turkish lira suffered significant falls, pledging to invest USD 15 billion in Turkey.
The Qatari pledge included providing the Turkish Central Bank with a USD 3 billion currency swap.
However, the remaining USD 12 billion investment pledge has not yet materialised. Turkish figures have shown that Qatari investors have pulled out USD 790 million from the Istanbul Stock Exchange, reducing Qatari holdings by 31 per cent.
"Given Qatar's inability to fulfil previous investment pledges, including to Turkey, it is unlikely that Qatar will be able to fulfil its pledge to Pakistan," said the report in its conclusion.
It further stated, "The price that Qatar would expect from Pakistan is for the latter to join the Turkish-Qatari axis, which Qatar and Turkey see as a counter to the Saudi-led alliance. This may dent Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia and ultimately affect the Saudi pledge.
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