Speakers at a conference, Tuesday, urged Pakistan and Iran to address each other’s concerns for taking the relation forward particularly in view of the changing geo-political environment of the region that could affect both neighbours.
They were speaking at a conference organized by Islamabad Policy Institute, a local think tank, on ‘Pakistan and the Regional Security in West Asia’. The conference was held to examine the emerging security situation in the region.
Speaking at the conference, former Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani, who also presided over the event, stressed the need for a multilateral approach, involving Pakistan and Iran, for regional peace and security.
Former Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Seyed Kamal Kharazi, in his keynote speech, said that Iran was not oblivious to Pakistan’s security concerns vis-à-vis India specifically its participation in the Chahbahar Seaport project.
Defence analyst Dr Shireen Mazari said Iran would have to make hard choice of whether to support US design for the region by being a partner of India, the US ally in the region, or have cooperative relations with Pakistan, which too is under pressure from US.
Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost recalled the upward trajectory in Pak-Iran ties over the past few months and hoped that it would gain further momentum in coming days.
Executive Director IPI Prof Sajjad Bokhari, in his opening remarks, said: “Political divergences, differences in geo-strategic worldview, aggressions and acts of terrorism have aggravated the mutual trust crisis among the regional States”. This gulf, he said, can be bridged through dialogue and confidence building measures.
IPI’s Malaika Raza in her comments said the best way to counter the Indo-Israel-US nexus, as pointed out by Senator Rabbani, was to form a “nexus of resistance” involving Pakistan, Iran and Turkey.