the deal may include the funding of 4,500 new madrassas in india as
rumored. nice work, aiyar: pipeline for pakistan's benefit, creation
of many new wahabis in india. all in a good cause of course -- now
that the evangelists are doing so well in india, can the islamists
afford to be left behind in the land-grab, convert-numbers games?
Aiyar Keen to Take Indo-Saudi Ties to New Levels
Nilofar Suhrawardy, Arab News
Mani Shankar Aiyar
NEW DELHI, 27 March 2005 — Saudi Arabia has come to recognize India as
a significant power and begun to take the country seriously, according
to Petroleum Minister Mani Shankar Aiyar, who begins a three-day
landmark visit to the Kingdom tomorrow.
Crediting Saudi Arabia with taking the initiative to put Indo-Saudi
relations on firmer ground, Aiyar said: "I have received signals from
Saudi Arabia that they regard us as a significant power. I have been
happy to reciprocate."
"Why do they (Saudi Arabia) take us so seriously?"
Choosing to answer his own question, Aiyar highlighted the increasing
importance of India's requirements for oil. He said: "India is a
significant importer of petroleum. We are going to become more so.
Saudi Arabia recognizes this fact."
In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Aiyar expressed optimism
that Indo-Saudi ties would touch a new high in the coming days when
Crown Prince Abdullah visits India. "He has accepted the invitation to
visit India," Aiyar said. The dates need to be finalized....