Mr Tanseer Hashimi
MPhil Scholar NUML Islamabad
Pakistan and Iran are allies on the basis of common history and culture. They are important states geo-strategically in world affairs not only due to economic importance but also for having a distinct geo-strategic location, which makes them vital in regional and world geo-politics. Despite having many commonalties in culture, history, religion and geostrategic environment, they could not develop a sustainable multidimensional relationship. In the beginning, they were able to develop a geo-economic and strategic partnership. However, a number of external factors, including the cold-war power politics, Soviet-Afghan war and Iran-Saudi estranged relations, created structural constraints in their relations. After 9/11, the dynamics of regional and international political environment changed that impacted the Pak-Iran bilateral relationship and gave new dimensions to their relations. This study examines the evolving nature of Pak-Iran relations since 9/11 with a focus on opportunities. This study finds that Pak-Iran relationship still faces various challenges, however, a number of developments, particularly China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), both states’ partnership with China and reconciliation process in Afghanistan, offer opportunities for the development of closer relationship. Further, the study concludes that the two countries can overcome the challenges and issues if they move forward to realize the full potential of the opportunities.
KEYWORDS: CPEC, SCO, Indo-Iran strategic relationship, Afghanistan, Indo-US strategic partnership.