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IRAN-PAKISTAN RELATIONS And INDIA



  Apr 27, 2024

IRAN-PAKISTAN RELATIONS And INDIA


 
1. History of the Bilateral Relationship Between Iran and Pakistan

• Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan after its independence in 1947. Over the years, the two countries have maintained diplomatic relations and have cooperated in various sectors, including trade, defense, and energy.

• However, the relationship has been strained at times due to a number of factors. These include Iran’s close ties with India, Pakistan’s alignment with Saudi Arabia and the US, and sectarian violence in Pakistan.

• Despite these challenges, both countries have continued to work towards strengthening their bilateral ties.

2. Issues of Convergence and Divergence Between Iran and Pakistan

• Convergence: Both countries have shown a willingness to cooperate on issues of mutual interest. This includes combating terrorism, enhancing economic ties, and addressing border security issues.

• Divergence: Despite areas of convergence, there are also points of divergence. These include Iran’s close ties with India and Russia, and Pakistan’s close relationship with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Additionally, sectarian violence in Pakistan and the Baloch insurgency have also strained relations.

3. Recent Shootings Between Iran and Pakistan

• In January 2024, there were unprecedented cross-border strikes between Iran and Pakistan, focusing on Balochistan. Gunmen killed nine Pakistani workers in the southeastern border area of Iran. These incidents raised concerns that ongoing conflicts in the Middle East were expanding eastwards.

• The attacks were a significant escalation in the ongoing tensions between the two countries. They highlighted the complex security challenges in the region, particularly in Balochistan, which has been a flashpoint for conflict due to separatist movements and cross-border militancy.

4. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s Recent Visit to Pakistan

• Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi visited Pakistan on a three-day trip to discuss regional and bilateral relations. The visit aimed to mend ties after the tit-for-tat missile attacks earlier in the year.

• During the visit, Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif discussed various issues including economic and commercial issues, energy, and border issues. They agreed to boost trade between the two countries to $10 billion in the next five years.

• The visit was seen as a significant step towards improving relations between the two countries, particularly in the wake of the recent tensions.

Potential Implications of the Iran-Pakistan Rapprochement for India

1. Energy Security: Iran is a significant supplier of oil to India. Improved relations between Iran and Pakistan could potentially impact the dynamics of energy trade in the region, affecting India’s energy security.

2. Regional Stability: The rapprochement could affect the overall stability in South Asia. India has strategic interests in maintaining peace and stability in the region for economic and security reasons.

3. Security Concerns: The changing dynamics in the region may lead to shifts in India’s defense strategies and preparedness.

4. Diplomatic Relations: India maintains diplomatic relations with both Iran and Pakistan. The rapprochement between these two nations might require India to navigate its diplomatic relationships carefully to maintain its interests and promote regional stability.

5. Trade and Connectivity: Improved relations between Iran and Pakistan could impact trade routes and connectivity. India has been working on various infrastructure projects that involve both Iran and Pakistan, such as the Chabahar Port project. Changes in Iran-Pakistan relations might affect the progress and viability of such initiatives.

6. Balancing Act in Foreign Policy: India may need to delicately balance its relations with both Iran and Pakistan. The rapprochement between these countries may put India in a position where it needs to navigate diplomatic challenges to maintain friendly ties with all parties involved.

7. Impact on Regional Cooperation: The rapprochement in the Iran-Pakistan relationship could impact regional cooperation initiatives. India has been involved in various regional forums and cooperation mechanisms, and changes in the region could affect collaborative efforts.


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