Three states and three leaders!


Reactions to the recent tour of Asia by Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman continue. The tour included three completely different countries important in various ways for Saudi Arabia led by three leaders with different personalities.

Pakistan came into existence as a result of the partitioning of India in 1947. It is now led by Imran Khan, who retired from cricket as a national hero after leading his country to win the World Cup. I met him for the first time on one of his visits to Jeddah, where he came to perform Umrah, and to get donations for his great charity project, which is a cancer hospital, named after his mother.

Imran Khan tried to defeat Pervez Musharraf, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto in national elections, but they were stronger and had influential financial and tribal connections. Over the years, Khan’s experience and wisdom increased and he received he approval of the people and the army through the ballot box and was elected to the post of prime minister. He wants the Pakistani economy to be free of corruption and he approaches China and the West while maintaining parity with India, but he has to modify his rhetoric to take into account some radical fundamentalism that still exists.

Imran Khan faces huge challenges, but the advantage is that there is no serious and disturbing opposition, and that he has clear popular and military support, and this may bring about a needed change in the situation of the country.

The campaign for Indian independence was led by Gandhi, and Jawaharlal Nehru became the country’s first prime minister. Nehru who was educated in the West was cautious and suspicious of major corporations because of the country’s colonial history. He put India on the road to becoming the world’s largest democracy, which was the path followed by his daughter Indira Gandhi and her son Rajiv.

However, it was former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao who freed the Indian economy with business-friendly legislation and opened the Indian market to foreign investment from major international multinationals. Important investments were made in modern technology and dozens of others fields, such as medical, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, textiles and food. Narendra Modi, the current prime minister, was elected to that post after remarkable administrative success in Gujarat. He has a reputation for supporting business and has made a significant improvement in the business climate.

China today is the product of the revolution of its president Mao Zedong, which transformed the culture of the Communist Party. He was followed by the modern and influential transformer Deng Xiaoping, who opened the markets and began to apply the principles of market economy. The current leader, President Xi Jinping, has been described as the most powerful in China’s history, and he intends to make China the most politically, militarily and economically powerful state and has promised to annex all Chinese territories that are currently disputed with Japan, Philippines and Vietnam, including Taiwan itself.

He has amended the Chinese constitution, which has practically granted him the right to remain in power forever, in order to carry out his objectives.

Three different countries with three very different leaders. Asia leads the economic world and everyone must pay close attention.