What's new

With U.S. at Odds, Islamic Republics Iran and Pakistan Forge New Ties

Dalit

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 16, 2012
15,131
-16
28,559
Country
Pakistan
Location
Netherlands
With the complete collapse of Afghanistan's 20-year U.S.-backed Islamic Republic and the Taliban constructing a new Islamic Emirate, two neighboring Islamic Republics with strained ties to Washington are forging increasingly tight ties in hopes of securing stability in an uncertain region.

Iran and Pakistan have a history of cooperating on practical terms even when they have been at odds. Today, they're establishing more common ground in the absence of U.S. troops stationed between them. And beyond the issue in Afghanistan, they've found additional ways of working together.

"Iran and Pakistan have many common goals in the region and the Islamic world, from peace and stability in the region, including Afghanistan, which is the immediate neighbor of both countries, to the promotion of bilateral cooperation in various economic, cultural and political fields," Hamaneh Karimi-Kia, head of the press section at Tehran's embassy in Islamabad, told Newsweek.

One major area of mutual concern is the long border they share between them, a boundary that has hosted separatist groups waging insurgencies against both nations. Concerns over a rise in non-state actor activity have mounted since the change of power in Afghanistan, and both Iran and Pakistan are seeking to better administer their border by clamping down on threats and bolstering trade.

"The two countries have cooperated well in the management of border issues," Karimi-Kia added, "including border security, increasing the number of border crossings and managing border trade."

She noted, however, that "bilateral trade between Iran and Pakistan is currently far from the existing capacities, and the two countries are working together to increase the level of economic relations."

Last year, the two countries opened up two new border crossings at Rimdan-Gabd and Pishin-Mand, and an April memorandum of understanding has led to the opening of three markets in the Balochistan border region to pave the way for promoting trade in the area. Further efforts to boost trade were discussed just last week by a joint committee, which agreed on new measures designed to bring the total value of exchanged goods to some $5 billion by 2023.

But insecurity continues to haunt such plans, and the two countries have demonstrated an eagerness to showcase how they are coming together on defense and military matters as well.

"Cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad is important for regional peace and stability," Karimi-Kia said. "The development of security diplomacy and the expansion of counter-terrorism cooperation between Iran and Pakistan have increased in recent years. Also, to protect the common borders, the two neighbors have developed security cooperation and cooperated in fighting against terrorist elements."

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has stated its desire to further strengthen military relations with the Pakistani military, especially in the areas of counter-terrorism and training," she added.

Tehran and Islamabad have traditionally been divided over Afghanistan. It was Pakistan that played a central role in assisting the CIA-backed mujahideen to win their war against the Soviet Union. And when the Taliban established its first Islamic Emirate a quarter of a century ago, Pakistan was the first to recognize the new government, followed by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Iran, whose diplomats in Afghanistan's Mazar-e-Sharif were slaughtered amid the Taliban advance in the late 1990s, backed the anti-Taliban forces supported at the time by a number of nations, including Russia, India, Turkey and the post-Soviet republics of Central Asia.

Iran has also accused the Taliban of oppressing ethnic and religious minorities including the Shiite Muslim Hazara, some of whom have fled to majority-Shiite Muslim Iran and even joined Iran-backed militias, as have a number of Pakistani Shiite Muslims.

But today there is ample room for mutual assistance between Tehran and Islamabad, especially with more pressing threats at hand.

The restive region of Balochistan spans Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan. It's home to nearly 20 million people, and yet Balochis represent a minority in all three countries. Some have taken up arms under the banner of groups such as the Balochistan Liberation Front, the Balochistan Liberation Army and Jundallah.

Pakistani Senator Mushahid Hussain, head of the Senate Defense Committee, said taking on these groups has been a key focus of talks between Islamabad and Tehran.

"There have been terrorists on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border," Hussain told Newsweek, "some striking against Iran from our side, and some striking against Pakistan from Iran's side. So we have close border cooperation on counterterrorism."

Not all Iran-Pakistan defense initiatives have been strictly border-related, however.

One of the more high-profile bilateral advances on the security front occurred during last month's visit by Iran's most senior military official, Iranian Armed Forces Chief of Staff of Major-General Mohammad Bagheri, along with a defense delegation to Islamabad, where he met with his Pakistani counterpart General Qamar Javed Bajwa, naval commander Amjad Khan Niazi and head of state Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The two sides discussed ways to expand their military-technical ties, including the signing of an agreement to collaborate on the construction of warships and submarines.

The deal follows joint naval exercises in April and came at a time when tensions in the region also emerged at sea, as the U.S. sought to rally partners to form security blocs in the seas of Asia.

To the west, the U.S. works with Arab and other foreign powers to patrol the Persian Gulf as part of the International Maritime Security Construct, where the feud between Washington and Tehran has played out since the U.S. abandoned a multilateral nuclear deal and imposed heavy sanctions on Iranian industries.

To the east, the U.S. has teamed up with Australia, Japan and Pakistan's top foe, India, to form the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue to fortify their presence and those of U.S. allies from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans.

The latter bloc is ostensibly aimed at reining in China's broad territorial claims, as well as its growing military presence across the Pacific. But Islamabad, a close strategic partner of Beijing, has shared concerns on New Delhi's participation, given their tense dispute.

"We would be concerned if this kind of relationship of the U.S. with India becomes a relationship directed against any one country or a group of countries, or it is a throwback to the Cold War era, where there was a zero-sum game mindset," Hussain said. "Pakistan has always maintained a relationship of balance."

Both India and Pakistan have accused one another of fostering extremists to lash out at the other. Washington, once closely aligned with Islamabad in past decades, has weighed in heavily in favor of New Delhi in recent years, going as far as signing bilateral defense agreements.

"If India is now going to be part of a new kind of bloc politics or a new kind of a Cold War, you have what I would say, a very high cost and low return, and I could maybe say a no-return investment," Hussain said. "You're betting on the wrong horse, and that will have consequences."

When it came to the ongoing nuclear deal talks, Hussain shared a positive reaction to Iran's announcement that it sought to resume negotiations for a return of the U.S. to a seventh round of discussions set to take place on November 29 in the Austrian capital of Vienna.

He welcomed this development, and described aspirations to revive the accord as "very important" to the kind of regional stability that both Islamabad and Tehran have said they set out to achieve.

"It's like, pardon my saying so, you can't say a woman is half-pregnant, you can't have peace on one side and you don't have peace on the other side," Hussain said. "You have to have a comprehensive stability there. So with Iran, we have had good interaction."

Hussain also noted that an early goal of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who took office in August, has been to strengthen relations with neighboring and regional countries. This includes not only Pakistan, but also top powers China and Russia, and even warming ties with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which have been on the other side of the simmering Persian Gulf feud.

Beijing's ties to both Islamabad and Tehran have especially been at the forefront of what Hussain calls "regional connectivity," something Pakistan "would like to promote."

The interactions between the nations at the heart of Asia have been especially important given the fallout of the past few months in Afghanistan. The issue has been at the center of an array of meetings across the region involving Iran, Pakistan, China, Russia and others, but especially these four, all of which count themselves as members of a coalition known as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or SCO.

The group was established in 2001, just months before the U.S. military intervention in Afghanistan, and Raisi's trip to the SCO's leader's summit in Tajikistan marked Iran's transition from observer to full-time member.

"Membership of Iran in regional and international organisations has provided a good opportunity for improving cooperations with Pakistan and other countries," Iran's Karimi-Kia said. "In this regard, the membership of the Islamic Republic of Iran in regional and international organizations has also provided a suitable platform for promoting cooperation."

The ascendance of Iran to the SCO has helped to solidify a broader region-first approach. On the sidelines of the meeting, Raisi and Khan also met for the first time and announced plans to deeper their countries' partnership.

Karimi-Kia described the relationship between Iran and its neighbors, including Pakistan, as "fraternal." On Afghanistan, she said a framework for the country's future was being constructed in consultations involving Iran, Pakistan and other regional actors such as China, Russia and Central Asian countries.

The core of this effort, she argued, was to provide a plan "in order to provide humanitarian assistance, prevent a humanitarian and social crisis, and manage refugees and asylum seekers."

"Iran and Pakistan," she added," have also reached a principled understanding to help establish a comprehensive national government and lasting stability in Afghanistan."

 

Dalit

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 16, 2012
15,131
-16
28,559
Country
Pakistan
Location
Netherlands
They never had the proper foundations laid for the house.
The Americans are extremely rattled and humiliated by the rapid loss. They don't want to talk about Afghanistan anymore. Remember how much money and effort went into Afghanistan to control the region. The Americans are today empty handed. Pleading to nations for military bases.
 

Sainthood 101

SENIOR MEMBER
Jul 24, 2021
2,984
-2
3,145
Country
Pakistan
Location
United States
A strong Ira-Pak can solve half of Pakistan's problems that we are facing currently- good relationship like we have with Turkey can be a real game changer for our economy, diplomacy, culture, and multiple other sectors- as they're neighbors who we share bonds for thousands of years
Not to mention the absolute powerhouse this friendship can possibly be in the region- I know as we're surrounded by big countries like China and India we think we are not that strong- but on global scale we are not that bad

Issue is can Pakistan afford to ignore US and in extension Gulf- very very tricky question
this question alone brings me back to reality - that although this can be a game-changer in multiple fields but in short-term I am not too sure if we can afford it and if we ignore the terrorist funding, hard to ignore but still...
Gulf historically has been very kind to us, so it'll be d*** move, but purely out of national interests Iran offers us a lot more bang for your buck- due to geography, cultural links, tech, education, energy/gas right next door
 
Last edited:

PakFactor

SENIOR MEMBER
Sep 30, 2019
5,138
4
9,319
Country
Pakistan
Location
Pakistan
The Americans are extremely rattled and humiliated by the rapid loss. They don't want to talk about Afghanistan anymore. Remember how much money and effort went into Afghanistan to control the region. The Americans are today empty handed. Pleading to nations for military bases.
A strong Ira-Pak can solve half of Pakistan's problems that we are facing currently- good relationship like we have with Turkey can be a real game changer for our economy, diplomacy, culture, and multiple other sectors- as they're neighbors who we share bonds for thousands of years
Not to mention the absolute powerhouse this friendship can possibly be in the region- I know as we're surrounded by big countries like China and India we think we are not that strong- but on global scale we are not that bad

Issue is can Pakistan afford to ignore US and in extension Gulf- very very tricky question
this question alone brings me back to reality - that although this can be a game-changer in multiple fields but in short-term I am not too sure if we can afford it and if we ignore the terrorist funding, hard to ignore but still...
Gulf historically has been very kind to us, so it'll be d*** move, but purely out of national interests Iran offers us a lot more bang for your buck- due to geography, cultural links, tech, education, energy/gas right next door
@Sainthood 101 bhai

I will be blunt do not have any sympathy for the Gulf Arabs if they have been kind they've extracted our blood along with it as well. It was an exchange for labor and money a business transaction. Beyond the religion point of view we have nothing in common with them, and never will. While they threaten us behind the scenes they give billions to the rat infest nation to our East "unki larki yo ki chut marna kylia". These Arabs we are dealing with have no moral compass. Let's not forget the funding the Kuwaiti's and Co., have provided the last few decades to destabilize Baluchistan.

If Imran Khan and our general's had brass balls between there legs, we could've seen another block and a much stronger one with both Pakistan & Turkey at the helm, yet they gave it away to desert rats.
 

Dalit

ELITE MEMBER
Mar 16, 2012
15,131
-16
28,559
Country
Pakistan
Location
Netherlands
@Sainthood 101 bhai

I will be blunt do not have any sympathy for the Gulf Arabs if they have been kind they've extracted our blood along with it as well. It was an exchange for labor and money a business transaction. Beyond the religion point of view we have nothing in common with them, and never will. While they threaten us behind the scenes they give billions to the rat infest nation to our East "unki larki yo ki chut marna kylia". These Arabs we are dealing with have no moral compass. Let's not forget the funding the Kuwaiti's and Co., have provided the last few decades to destabilize Baluchistan.
Fvck 'em. For the first time Pak is looking after its interests. They are all screaming and protesting, but to no avail.
 

Wood

FULL MEMBER
Mar 30, 2013
952
0
712
Country
India
Location
Canada
Do those who favor ties with Iran over that with America consider the prospect of loosing trade privileges with US problematic? There is a strong anti-Iran sentiment in American congress. If this type of overt move from Pakistan is noticed in US, then Pakistan will loose access to its biggest trade market. The Saudi will also not be happy with moves.

Unfortunately, Iran has powerful enemies.
 

Shotgunner51

RETIRED INTL MOD
Jan 6, 2015
6,549
45
21,142
Country
China
Location
China
Do those who favor ties with Iran over that with America consider the prospect of loosing trade privileges with US problematic?
Not problematic at all. You know we have been in a trade war with US since 2018, let alone any trade favourite so to speak of. But last year our exports even further expanded to $2.5T, while the US goes opposite. Particularly in hi-tech exports, last year China was over 5 times that of US. In some industries that we export too much like hi-value added steel, we even started to impose 10-25% export tax.
The Saudi will also not be happy with moves.
MBS sounds like a reasonable man. After we struck a 25-years business deal with Iran, KSA's sovereign wealth fund decided to add China to their investment holdings, an unprecedented move in their history when they used to place their wealth in US/Europe only.

 

Titanium100

SENIOR MEMBER
Mar 1, 2019
5,031
-7
4,553
Country
Denmark
Location
Denmark
Not problematic at all. You know we have been in a trade war with US since 2018, but our exports even further expanded to $2.5T, while the US goes opposite. Particularly in hi-tech exports, last year China was over 5 times that of US. In some industries that we export too much like hi-value added steel, we even started to impose 10-25% export tax.

They will be OK. After we struck a 25-years business deal with Iran, KSA's sovereign wealth fund decided to add China to their investment holdings, an unprecedented move in their history when they used to place their wealth in US/Europe only.

That is only when you balance it out like China does. It buys Saudi oil and has good ties with China. Example the Chinese FM went all around the region not just one place and sign deals across the board China has not cornered itself into a camp
 

Shotgunner51

RETIRED INTL MOD
Jan 6, 2015
6,549
45
21,142
Country
China
Location
China
That is only when you balance it out like China does. It buys Saudi oil and has good ties with China. Example the Chinese FM went all around the region not just one place and sign deals across the board China has not cornered itself into a camp
Yes, the world is obviously much larger than US, and will only become even larger. The US-dependency myth is long gone.
 

Wood

FULL MEMBER
Mar 30, 2013
952
0
712
Country
India
Location
Canada
Not problematic at all. You know we have been in a trade war with US since 2018, let alone any trade favourite so to speak of. But last year our exports even further expanded to $2.5T, while the US goes opposite. Particularly in hi-tech exports, last year China was over 5 times that of US. In some industries that we export too much like hi-value added steel, we even started to impose 10-25% export tax.

MBS sounds like a reasonable man. After we struck a 25-years business deal with Iran, KSA's sovereign wealth fund decided to add China to their investment holdings, an unprecedented move in their history when they used to place their wealth in US/Europe only.

Obviously, I did not mean China. Developing countries like India, Pakistan that hope to prosper economically will face economic devastation if they loose access to US market.

KSA has more influence on Pakistan because of financial assistance that the Kingdom provides Pakistan.
 

Wood

FULL MEMBER
Mar 30, 2013
952
0
712
Country
India
Location
Canada
You do know that many medium sized countries rely on west for exports

Can't judge em through china's lence...
.. add a caveat - developing countries that are not blessed with natural raw resources that can be exported to China have to rely on US/EU/GCC market to export goods.
 

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Total: 1, Members: 0, Guests: 1)


Top Bottom