Cajoling Iran

Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan on its independence from British Empire and our diplomatic relations were established in 1948. Pakistan and Iran relations have been unique. There was a time we were best friends, then we had sour relations and now once again it is taking another turn. Our two countries need to stabilize our relations to avoid exploitation on the sectarian basis that only suits our enemies. Surprisingly in spite of close neighbours and Muslim country our trade has remained insignificant. Iran has always supported us on Kashmir issue and does not like Israel. We had one of the best relations between the two countries but gradually due to change in world politics and some wrong decisions on our part gradually our relations also changed and one time great friends and brothers there has been drift in relations. Iran is our neighbourly country like Afghanistan and India that has always remained hostile to us since our independence. It can be said that India was responsible in spoiling our relations with Iran and Afghanistan. Pakistan entered in to agreement with Iran to lay gas pipe line but US did not like this deal therefore we came under pressure and did not fulfil our obligations.
Relations further aggravated due to Saudi Arab conflict with Iran and we were in catch 20 -20 positions as we could not annoy KSA because of aid Pakistan gets during difficult times. However situation further aggravated when Gen Raheel accepted the offer of Chief of Coalition forces in KSA and Iran was intentionally left out. We were in a fix as we never wanted to leave Iran and at the same time we dare not annoy KSA the main donor of Pakistan
In this backdrop there comes visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan to Iran. Before Imran Khan left for Iran Shah Mahmood foreign minister blamed Iran that the terrorists entered from Iran and killed our 14 defence personnel. In fact it was action replay when Iranian President visited Pakistan on 25-26 March 2016 after many years, the news was aired that RAW agent Commander Kulbhoshan Yadev has been arrested in Baluchistan who had Iranian Passport. This news was in a bad taste and against protocol, likewise now our foreign minister repeated the same mistake. In spite of all this our Prime Minister received historic reception in Iran. He was received by Iranian President Hassan Rohani. During press conference he said “We trust that both countries will not have terrorist activities from their soil….We will not allow any damage to your country from our soil”. To recollect in Oct 2013 terrorists from our side killed 14 Iranian Guards to which Iran had lodged strong protest with Pakistan and their army commander had also threatened that terrorists will be punished and shall be chased irrespective of borders. Thank God the issue was resolved amicably. Although some our politicians are criticizing Prime Minister on his statement but they are reading this statement out of context. What he said is a ground reality, but not understood and wrongly being interpreted by opposition due to malice against IK. Prime Ministers grand success in foreign relations is disturbing the opposition because what they could not collectively achieve in 10 years IK has done it in 8 months. It was thought that after the Press conference of our foreign minister the tour may get affected but it perhaps has been most successful visit of our Prime Minister that removed all the misgivings. Both countries agreed that there was no need of third country to come in and both countries will ensure that no terrorist’s crossover from each other’s borders and it will be jointly monitored. We have 1100 kilometres border with Iran that will jointly be maintained by the security forces from both sides.
To boost up security cooperation formation of a Joint Rapid Reaction force between two countries is a positive step and shall help a great deal in combating terrorists. He supported Iran’s revolution and told Iranian leadership Pakistan is also looking for such revolution in Pakistan meant to do away with status quo arrangements that hinder progress of the country and make a Naya Pakistan. Prime Minister said there is total consensus amongst all the political parties in eliminating terrorists and their hide outs if any from Pakistan. Since the start of war Pakistan has lost over 70000 people and unlike Afghanistan, Pakistan achieved success whereas Afghanistan with all modern weapons and help from NATO failed to control the situation. Prime Minister said he was looking for more cooperation in trade especially in energy sector as volume of present trade is too small. Follow up meeting will be held in Islamabad in June 2019.Joint statement is resolve by both the governments to adhere to the charter of UN in all respects. As a gesture of good will Iran once again offered Oil, gas and electricity. A mechanism may be evolved to avail this opportunity and gas project may be completed as early as possible. Both sides welcomed the implementation of bilateral agreements including Belt and Road Initiative and CPEC. Prime Minister extended invitation to the Iranian President who accepted the invitation to visit Pakistan at mutual convenience
this visit has been a great success for Pakistan as the two heads of state reiterated to tackle the enemy jointly. Success isn”t just about what you accomplish in your life, it’s about what you inspire others to do.

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