Pak-Iran Contemporary Relations: Challenges and Way Forward

Zafar Iqbal Yousafzai, Arshad Ali Shah


Pak-Iran relations are of great importance for both the states. Iran was the first state that recognized Pakistan following its inception while Pakistan was among the first countries that recognized the new dispensation in Iran in 1979. However, there have been some irritants in the bilateral relations: India-Iran ties, sectarianism, Jandullah, and Taliban factor that in one way or the other spoiled the relations in post-9/11 era. However, the changing regional dynamics provide for opportunities following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. This article looks into the factors that did not allow the relationship to grow altogether despite the existing potential in post-9/11 period. The growing India-Iran ties, their North-South Transport Corridor and the Indian plan to include Chabahar in it are causing concerns in Islamabad. The militant groups operating near Iran border in Baluchistan is a cause of serious concern for Tehran. The article argues the mistrust needs to be bridged on urgent basis and augment cooperation. Moreover, the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and the China-Iran comprehensive cooperation agreement are good developments for both Pakistan and Iran to turn the relationship to a closer partnership. The changing dynamics in the region provide opportunities to both the states to adopt It is time for both Iran and Pakistan to adopt a mutual approach to the regional issues and make a new strategic partnership with Russia and China. Pak-China-Russia-Iran partnership group will be a stronger one and of great importance for all members.


Pak-Iran relations; Taliban; U.S. withdrawal; India; Jundullah.

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