Is the Kashmir issue bringing Iran and Pakistan together? 5 Geopolitical Effects You Need to Know

1. Development of Iran-Pakistan relations

The journey between Iran and Pakistan started soon after independence of Pakistan in August 1947. Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan as a sovereign state with the Shah of Iran being the first Head of State to visit Pakistan. The relation between Pakistan and Iran is often viewed as peripheral to Pakistan’s relations with the Saudi Arabia, United States and India. Pre-Iranian Revolution both countries enjoyed very healthy, close relations, having notable bilateral cooperation in different sectors including culture, economy and defense. But post-Iranian revolution the relation often remained very low under shadows of border security, trafficking and sectarian violence. But in the last few years the two countries have entered a rapprochement and have started cooperating on dozens of matters including border security, trade, visa policy and regional security. Both countries have explored many fields of mutual interests and are looking forward to improving relations.

2. US sanctions bringing Pakistan closer to Iran

When the US backed off from the Iran nuclear deal, that was finalised in 2015 by a group of world powers knows as P5 + 1, it paved the way for the melting of ice in the frozen relations between Iran and Pakistan. Pakistan backed Iran against the US decision to withdraw from the historic nuclear deal. A statement issued by Pakistan foreign ministry stated that ‘arbitrarily rescinding’ such agreements “will undermine confidence in the value of dialogue and diplomacy in the conduct of international relations and the peaceful resolution of disputes.”

In a recent visit to the US, Pakistan’s Prime minister Imran Khan also openly and clearly opposed use of any force against Iran. He also offered mediation between the parties. US sanctions carry not only strategic value but also are affecting the economy of the region. Because of US sanctions India is slowly bringing out the investment from Iran. India for the fiscal year of 18-19 has cut of almost 100 crores for Chabahar port. Reducing the total expenses for Chabahar from ₹150 crore for 2018 to just 45 for this fiscal year. This move will further strengthen the coordination and collaboration between Iran and Pakistan for their respective ports “Gawadar” and the “Chabahar” port, often regarded as friendly ports by the two countries.

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