Pakistan-Iran relations go to rack and ruin
The adjacent nations of Pakistan and Iran have long been involved in a face-off as border incursions, cross-border terrorism, heavy tariffs on border trade, illegal immigration and risks of sectarian fault lines continue to remain main points of contention between the duo, media reports said.
The adjacent nations of Pakistan and Iran have long been involved in a face-off as border incursions, cross-border terrorism, heavy tariffs on border trade, illegal immigration and risks of sectarian fault lines continue to remain main points of contention between the duo, media reports said. Despite several high-profile visits between the two countries, the talks have failed to address the core issues, Global Strat View reported adding that Pakistan's renewed alignment with the US-Saudi Arabia axis further exacerbates the Iran-Pakistan relations.
A number of incidents which are projected as a sign of bonhomie apparently bring to the fore the deep mistrust between Pakistan and Iran. In August 2022, a Pakistan Air Force delegation and the Pakistan Air and Naval attache at Teheran were reportedly subjected to intimidation and harassment by the Iranian officials during their visit to the Kashan airbase, as per Global Strat View. However, when the Pakistan military attache protested, he was confined and his cell phone confiscated by the Iranian officials. The Iranian officials also remarked that they were only paying back to Pakistan what was being done to their officials in Pakistan.
Another point of discord is Iran accusing Pakistan of sponsoring terrorist organizations like Jaish al Adl, which are engaged in anti-Iran attacks. Altercations have also been over border incursions. Repeated incursions by Pakistan in the form of erecting border fences within Iranian territory is a sour point in the relationship, reported Global Strat View. Skirmishes are seen during border trade as well where Pakistan imposes heavy tariffs on Iranian truckers and was unwilling to issue visas for Iranian drivers, forcing them to unload their cargoes at the border and pass them to Pakistani truckers.
Moreover, illegal immigration from Pakistan continues to be a painstaking issue for Iran, which is already facing a large-scale exodus from Afghanistan. Iran also flagged the issue of Iranian prisoners in Pakistan jails. Pakistan appears reluctant to release them, as per Global Strat View. The final point is the risk of emergence of the sectarian fault lines between Pakistan and Iran. Pakistan has accused Iran for supporting attacks carried out by a group of Pakistani Baloch-a group historically opposed to the Pakistani government.
On February 14, Iran's interior minister Ahmad Vahidi arrived in Islamabad for a day-long visit with the Commander of the Iranian Border Guards, Brigadier General Ahmad Ali Goudarzi, among other high-ranking officials. The Pakistani leadership publicly hailed the historic "brotherly ties" with Iran. However, privately the delegation was given a stern warning. Pakistani officials warned him, "we know about the use of Iranian soil by Baloch insurgents. If there are more attacks, we will take decisive action." (ANI)
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