Could Pakistan’s Quiet Relationship with Iran Hurt India? 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Deep roots of Iran-Pakistan relations

Surprisingly, Pakistan’s ties with Iran are historically much deeper than with Saudi. There were close interactions between the Safavid and Mughal empires, for example, with the latter making Persian its official language. Furthermore, Prominent Pakistanis such as the country’s founder, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, and its first president Iskander Mirza, were Shia Muslims, like Iran’s majority, although Muhammed Ali Jinnah is said to have converted to Sunni Islam later. Whilst bilateral relations became more complicated after the 1979 Iranian revolution, the two continued to cooperate, for example in Afghanistan where both supported the Mujahideen during the anti-Soviet war under the auspices of the United States. Furthermore, As the Saudi-Iran rivalry intensified in recent years, Pakistan has made a determined effort to remain neutral. An example of this is portrayed when Pakistan decided in 2015 not to send Pakistani troops to fight in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. It is safe to say the world has underestimated the warmth of relations between the two nations.

2. How Imran Khan strengthened ties

The election of Imran Khan as Pakistani PM gave way to even further development of ties with Iran, after a tense period. Pakistan‘s Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived in Iran for bilateral talks in April this year, where they discussed improving bilateral ties, border security, countering terrorism and regional issues. Furthermore PM Khan appeared to take Iran’s side on the recent Iran-US tensions, cautioning the United States about any misadventure against Iran. “My worry about Iran is…. I am not sure whether all the countries realise the gravity of the situation if there is a conflict with Iran,” Khan said in response to a question during his appearance at the US Institute of Peace, a think-tank funded by the US Congress. Khan’s improvement of relations has appeared to pay off, as relations have quietly warmed after tensions earlier this year.

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3. Pakistan and Iran parliament agree on joint Kashmir strategy

4. Iran-Pakistan border co-operation

5. Iran’s uncertainty about Kashmir

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