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Iran-West nuclear deal: implications for Pakistan – Bahadar Ali Khan

 

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A cautious optimism can be expressed and expected after the successful conclusion of nuclear arms deal between Iran and the six world powers. However, as they say, still expect some slips between the cup and the lips. These slips can be caused by Iran-centric-hostility establishment that has been created and is pivoted on Iran-West bickering of more than three decades. When animosity extends this long, this seeps into human behaviors through genetics. Notwithstanding, this is a welcome move

Though with this deal Iran would eventually step out of the international isolation and a country that was once a pariah in world community would progress towards its integration and reahabilitation. This process should be faster for Iran because it is one of the leading energy producing country.

To analyse the Pakistan angle over this development, we need to go back in the history of China-Pakistan relations. Now we boast of ‘higher-than-Himalaya’ friendship with China but its genesis is worth exploring. Nations like individuals value the help of others when they are buried in troubles. China was out of favor by World Powers to the extent that it didn’t even had UN-membership because of consistent Veto power used by US. Instead tiny Taiwan enjoyed the Veto wielding status in the Security Council. In those turbulent days Pakistan stood firmly with mainland China and practically served as the diplomatic face of China for many years. Chinese would call Pakistan as their window through which they could see the world. After Nixon’s visit, China became visible to the world as a ‘legitimate’ entity. So Chinese decided to never forget their friend in need-Pakistan.

Unfortunately enough, Pakistan cannot claim the same in the case of Iran. We choose to join Saudi and US camp, obviously it wasn’t the wrong choice given our chronically meager and vulnerable economy. And it is also worth noting that Pakistan had never directly confronted Iran but their relationship remained lukewarm at best. And special mention must be given to the bizarre handling of  Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline agreement. It was so imprudent on the part of State of Pakistan to unable to keep eyes on the regional political developments. It marks a scar that wouldn’t be wiped away or burred by a single clinical therapy.

If our diplomats thinks that now they would enjoy the same hospitality by Iranians and latter would rush to complete the stalled projects, it would be simply a naive thought process After Iran comes out of sanctions there would a sort of ‘Gold Rush’ in Tehran and every country would compete to take a piece of pie out of a frozen but potentially thriving business hub of the future. India seems to be a big beneficiary as they maintained a well-balanced relationship with Iran all along this period.

The term ‘time-tested-relationships’ have some prerequisites, for which we don’t qualify for in this case. Iran is already a key-player in the region despite sanctions and now with its re-integration into the world community would further enhance its stature. Though they would still face hard resistance from certain sections of the world due their despotic process of governance but then so is the case with the rest of its neighbors. There is still a light can be seen at the end of the tunnel if Pakistan even now makes a preemptive move without waiting for the formal lifting of sanctions against Iran. It is in Pakistan national interest to freshen up its bond with Iran as the balance of power in the Middle East going to take a sharp tilt in favor of Iran in the near future while Saudi Arabia is going to loose its garce and the prominence that it enjoyed for last three decades.