Pak-Iran Relations: The Way Forward
The strategic landscape of Iran’s immediate neighborhood is changing dramatically following the landmark nuclear deal between Iran and the P5+1.Iran is preparing itself for a wider and internationally legitimized regional role in which it can act pragmatically to enhance its reputation and to explore greater opportunities for economic and security cooperation in the region. As international politics become more complex and interlinked, Iran’s reach to the outer world bear implications for Pakistan. Critically speaking, Pakistan’s relations with Iran are unique in that they can neither be described as strategic partnership nor strategic rivalry; rather the relations have been alternating between friendship and hostility, an apt description for which can be ‘neighbors, not friends.’ Thus it is important to study and extrapolate Iran and Pakistan relations and also how this relation can serve the long term interests of each other in the region. The paper juxtaposes Pakistan-Iran relations in the changing balance of power with an inevitable rise in the number of international players – from multilateral organizations, individuals to the rise of new notions such as national and regional security, inducing a change in the ideals and objectives embedded in a country’s foreign policy. The paper looks at Pakistan-Iran relations from three angles: it studies the history of the bilateral relations, the present issues and concern that will have an impact on the future contours of the relations, and lastly it makes plausible policy recommendations that may improve the bilateral ties.
Keywords - Pak-Iran Relations, Economics, International Politics