Prospects of promotion of Iran-Pakistan relations

Tehran, May 11, IRNA – Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived here Sunday on a two-day official visit to help promote Tehran-Islamabad relations.

The visit is taking place at the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani.

Although this is the first visit to Iran of the Pakistani premier since he took office last year, the two capitals enjoy a long history of bilateral relations which dates back to the time of establishment of Pakistan’s independent government in 1947.

Tehran and Islamabad enjoy appropriate relations since the two share common political, economic and cultural aspects and have good-neighboring relations. The two capitals have experienced no major changes in their bilateral ties before and after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.

The visit to Tehran of Prime Minister Sharif is in line with regular visits of the senior officials of the two countries aimed at promoting bilateral relations.

Former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardri had also made several visits to Iran during his term in office. Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, also known as the Peace Pipeline, project was inaugurated during his last visit to Tehran.

Under the present circumstances, Prime Minister Sharif’s visit is highly important regarding political, security and economic issues.

Tehran attaches great significance to its relations with Islamabad from the “development” and “security” viewpoints as security in Pakistan will lead to development and improvement of security would help its development as well.

Iran is concerned over insecurity in Pakistan as a Muslim neighboring state and believes that resolving Pakistan’s security problems would lead to its development.

There is no restriction for Iran-Pakistan relations as the two countries enjoy all-out cooperation in political, cultural, security and economic fields.

Pakistan is considered as a proper gateway and a good market for Iranˈs energy exports including gas and electricity. Meanwhile, Pakistan needs Iran to have access to western and European markets.

Iran has great potentials to meet Pakistan’s energy needs. Therefore, Pakistani officials should prove that they are seriously determined to promote ties with Tehran. Further more they have to prepare grounds for imports of Iran’s natural gas and electricity.

Based on previously signed agreements, Iran has completed its pipeline project up to its joint borderlines with Pakistan. However, Pakistan has, so far, failed to take necessary steps towards facilitating import of Iran’s natural gas.

Pakistan’s agriculture and industries were the main sectors which seriously damaged by Islamabad’s failure in fulfilling commitments.

Although Islamabad has said that the anti-Iran sanctions imposed by the West, US in particular, was the reason behind its failure to fulfill commitments regarding the Peace Pipeline, this was not acceptable to Tehran as under the same sanctions, Iran managed to establish good trade relations with other countries including India, China and a number of European states and the value of some of its trade exchanges was even much higher than the cost of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline.

Therefore, it seems that the Pakistani side must prepare the necessary mechanisms and grounds for implementation of the Peace Pipeline and gaining access to Iran’s natural gas.

Time would be against Pakistan if it continued to fail to fulfill its commitments as Iran faces a long list of clients for its natural gas that is getting longer after the recent visits to Iran repeated by various European countries.

Tehran-Islamabad relations are not only limited to energy field as the two countries have close cooperation in the areas of sea, road and railway transportation due to Iran’s significant geopolitical situation.

It can be said that Pakistan’s route to European markets passes through Iran.

The Iranian and Pakistani officials are not facing serious challenge in bilateral ties since the two eye to a win-win game, but there are some “third parties” who are not interested in witnessing a strong relations between Iran and Pakistan.

Tehran hopes that Prime Minister Sharif and his entourage would respect commitments of the former government.



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