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Pakistan-Iran relations discussed in Ankara

Iran’s relations with India and Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia make Islamabad-Tehran relations complicated, expert says

Pakistan-Iran relations discussed in Ankara

By Sorwar Alam


Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia and Iran’s relations with India has made the Islamabad-Tehran relations complicated, Umer Karim, a doctoral researcher at Birmingham University, said Wednesday in Ankara.

Speaking at a roundtable discussion on Iran-Pakistan relations organized by the Center for Iranian Studies in Ankara (IRAM), Karim said that Pakistan historically has strong ties with Saudi Arabia and has also been very close to Iran.

“But Iran is not a strategic partner of Pakistan as Saudi Arabia is,” said Karim who is a doctoral researcher focusing on Saudi foreign policy, decision making and its implications for the politics and security of the middle east.

“Though Pakistan is not very much interested in politics in the Middle East but as the Arab Spring started, the country was dragged into the whole thing, in one way or another,” he added.

“Iran’s relation with India and Pakistan’s ties with Saudi Arabia has made the Iran-Pakistan relations more complicated.”

He mentioned that Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline was a significant project to develop good relations with Iran, but the U.S. and Saudi administrations have been pressuring Islamabad to abandon the project.

“And now the project is neither abandoned nor constructed. So, it will probably be abandoned by Tehran,” Karim said.

On the future of economic relationship between the two countries, the Birmingham fellow predicted it would be limited in near future.

Regarding the recent Saudi-led blockade against Qatar, Karim noted that Pakistan was “the most sincere actor in the region”.

“Not only Pakistani government but its army too wants the issue be resolved,” he added. 

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