Leaked Saudi diplomatic cables reveal that the country’s embassy in Islamabad remained in touch with the Haqqani network and also helped arrange a visit for the militant group’s leader for medical treatment. The Saudi government has, meanwhile, not acknowledged these cables as authentic and asked its citizens to ignore them. Leaks suggest Jalaluddin Haqqani carried a Saudi passport.

Nasiruddin Haqqani, one of the sons of Haqqani network chief Jalaluddin Haqqani, travelled frequently to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates between 2004 and 2009. He wasn’t killed in a remote part of Afghanistan or Pakistan; on the contrary, he was shot in Islamabad. Just like Osama bin Laden, he must have been on the radar of Pakistani intelligence. Was the radar friendly or foe? Has our security policy changed? Pakistan has come under international criticism for its links with the Haqqani network. The US State Department report ‘Country Reports on Terrorism 2014’ says that the network leadership “continued to find safe haven in Pakistan”.

The Arab states have denied their hand in spreading international terrorism and no one has been able to call them out on it. Pakistan is caught between divine Kings and a patriotic British citizen. It is hard enough to dismantle domestic crime and political mafias when foreign funded activity is making the situation harder to understand and tackle. Pakistani sense of justice is selective, and when it comes to religion, we have been apologists for terrorists and religiously motivated hate-speech for too long. As such documents come up, exposing new links, Pakistan has to be cautious about the relationship. Saudi Arabia has long been a friend, yet, Pakistani safety and sovereignty comes first.

Saudi Arabia, as a power broker, is often beyond reproach. With Pakistan’s reluctance to join the Yemen War, sentiment is that we have already upset the Kings enough. No politician will accuse the Saudis of anything, and it might even be unwise and incautious to do so at this point in time. What is important right now is to have intelligence on Saudi funding and terrorist movements, as well as public awareness that India is not the only country supporting violent activity on Pakistani soil. For now, Pakistan can only fight the scourge on its territory, breaking the network in a long war. This requires closing and securing the border with Afghanistan, an end to arms trafficking and money laundering, an investigation into the funds of various religious groups, parties and charities to stem the tide of Saudi money, and efforts to apprehend all those associated with the Haqqanis, the Taliban and the likes.