Iranian envoy’s positive assurances

IN the backdrop of various reports and developments that create doubts about Iranian policy in the region and relations with Pakistan, Iranian ambassador to Islamabad Mehdi Honerdoost, during his speech at the Institute of Strategic Studies in Islamabad on Friday held out assurances that his country would not allow use of its territory against Pakistan. He also claimed that Chahbahar, being developed with Indian assistance, was not a rival to Gwadar and reiterated Iran’s interest to complete IP gas pipeline project.
We welcome these positive remarks by the Iranian envoy and hope Tehran would prove them by its policy and practical steps. This is important in view of reports that Mulla Mansoor, Taliban leader, was targeted on his entry into Pakistan from Iranian side, with resourceful Afghan leader Hekmatyar alleging that Iran provided intelligence information to the US about movement of Mansoor. If that is the case, the question arises as to why Iranian did not provide information to the US when the Taliban leader was on their soil? Wasn’t it the motive to bring Pakistan into disrepute and try to make Pakistani Balochistan destabilized? Questions were also raised about role of Iran when RAW agent Kulbhushan Yadev was arrested from Balochistan, who was known to be enjoying hospitality in Iran for years and sponsoring anti-Pakistani activities. Anyhow, it is satisfying that the Iranian diplomat has given categorical assurance that his country would not allow use of its soil against Pakistan. This is how it should be as Pakistan and Iran are not only Muslim brothers and neighbours but also have deep rooted cultural and historical links and bonds. As for Chahbahar and Gwadar, Advisor on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz has rightly pointed out, that Pakistan doesn’t consider it rival and instead wants to link Gwadar with Chahbahar. This is in line with requirements of 21st century where the buzz word is to complement economies and not to treat them as rivals.

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