Laraib Farhat

Ms Laraib Farhat is an Assistant Research Officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

DOI: http://DOI Number

Keywords: India, GCC, Pakistan, strategic partnership, economic interests, global politics, investments


India is a strategic player in global politics; more like an octopus, with its arms stretched towards other regional players, either for cooperation or competition. Thus, its inclination toward the Middle East is driven by a similar intent. Its preference in the gulf has been mostly navigated by two things, i.e., exporting labour and importing oil. The huge Indian diaspora in the region is a living proof of that which has resultantly become a major driver behind India’s growing economy. Consequently, India’s long-term investments and strong economic relations in the Middle East can be explained given its expat population. It is noteworthy that Indian interest in the region is driven by the vision of amplifying its economic might rather than exercising it. To achieve that, it withholds the focus of its foreign policy vis a vis three key players—Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Israel. However, the strategic tilt towards the Middle East has not alienated India’s historical rival rather its inroads into the Middle East appear to be a multi-dimensional approach inclusive of Pakistan. The basic aim of India’s strategy is to strengthen its relations in the Gulf region and engage in counter-narrative diplomatic engagements that would complicate Pakistan’s foreign policy. This paper thus looks into major Indian investments in three key players as aforementioned and unfolds the complex relationship between India, the GCC, and Pakistan.

First Published

December 25, 2021

How to Cite

Laraib Farhat, “India’s Inroads into the Middle East: Implications for Pakistan,” Regional Studies 39, no.4 (Winter 2021): 83-100,


Volume 39, Issue 4