Indonesia–Pakistan relations

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Indonesia-Pakistan relations
Map indicating locations of Indonesia and Pakistan



Pakistan-Indonesia relationship are particularly special, founded on common mutual religious outlook. Indonesia is the world largest Muslim country in terms of its population, whereas Pakistan is the world second largest Muslim country. Both countries are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation and Developing 8 Countries. Pakistan has an embassy in Jakarta,[1] whereas Indonesia has an embassy in Islamabad,[2] and a Consulate General in Karachi. According to a 2014 BBC World Service Poll, 40% of Indonesians view Pakistan's influence positively, with 31% expressing a negative view, making Indonesia the most pro-Pakistani nation in the world.[3]

Historical relationship[edit]

During the Indonesian National Revolution, Muhammad Ali Jinnah encouraged Muslim soldiers serving in British Indian army to join hands with Indonesians against their fight against the Dutch Imperial colonisation of Indonesia. As a result 600-Muslim soldiers of the British Indian Army deserted the colonial forces putting their lot at stake, allied with Indonesians.[4] Out of these 600 soldiers, 500 of them died in war; while the survivors returned to Pakistan or continued to live in Indonesia. As a recognition of Muslim soldiers from Pakistan, during Indonesia Golden Jubilee celebration on August 17, 1995, Indonesia granted Independence War Awards to the living ex Pakistan soldiers and awarded the highest honor Adipura to the Founding Father of Pakistan Mohammad All Jinnah and the Government of Pakistan.[5]

Pakistan's relationship with Indonesia greatly developed under Gen Ayub Khan. During the 1965 war with India, Indonesia offered to provide Pakistan with military help, and 'to seize Andaman and Nicobar Islands' of India so as to distract it from the Kashmir front.[6][7] Indonesia openly supported Pakistan by sending its navy to defend East Pakistan during the Bangladesh Liberation War of 1971.

According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 43% of Indonesians view Pakistan's influence positively, with 25% expressing a negative view, the most favorable perception of Pakistan in Asia and the world.[8]

Defence cooperations[edit]

Pakistan has signed a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation (DCA).[9] One of the key terms of the DCA is an offer for Indonesia to take part in joint-manufacturing between Pakistan and China of the JF-17 fighter jet. Indonesia and Pakistan also exchange military personnel for training.[10]

Trade relationship[edit]

Bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia is worth around US$1 billion.[4][11] Pakistan exports Indonesia[12][13] kinnow, seafood, textiles, cotton yarn, medical equipment, rice, wheat and carpets and Indonesia exports Pakistan palm oil.[11]

People traffic[edit]

Apart from the Pakistanis living in Indonesia, there are close to 100 Indonesian students studying in various Pakistani universities.[14] Also at any given time there are several Pakistani military personnels training in Indonesian military academies, whereas there are also several Indonesian military personnel training in Pakistani military academies.[10] Pakistanis in Singapore and Pakistanis in Malaysia also travel to Indonesia as short term tourist visitor, because of close geographic proximity of Indonesia to Malaysia and Singapore, and many tourist attraction Indonesia offers. Members of Pakistani Tableeghi Jamaat also travel to Indonesia for religious propagation, and Islamic religious students from Indonesia come to Pakistan for religious education.[15]

Humanitarian cooperation[edit]

Pakistan Army Task Force and the Pakistan Islamic Medical Association provided medical and relief items to Indonesia, following the 2004 Tsunami, whereas Indonesia has been instrumental in sending 15 tons of medicine and food supplies amounting to the equivalent of $1 million and dispatching some doctors to Pakistan during the 2010 Pakistan floods.[16]

Bilateral visits[edit]

Indonesia’s President Megawati Sukarnoputri paid a 3-days official visit to Islamabad in Dec 2003.[17] Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Pakistan in 2005.[13] Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf visited Indonesia in Jan 2007, and held talks with president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.[18] In Nov 2010, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visited Indonesia and held bilateral talks on trade, terrorism and current situation in Afghanistan and Middle East[19]

See also[edit]