Iranian Foreign Minister Visits Pakistan to Mend Relations
Tehran and Islamabad have moved to de-escalate amid high concern that the Gaza war could spill out across the region. Iran’s foreign minister arrived in Pakistan as the two countries seek to calm tensions, which have risen amid the conflict in Gaza.
Iran and Pakistan have long been wary of armed groups in their borderlands, and it is thought that internal political pressures, as well as the spillover of Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza
, helped push them over the edge. Tension reached a nadir on January 17, when Iran struck a target in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province. Tehran said it was a hideout for anti-Iran armed group Jaish al-Adl (the Army of Justice). Islamabad, in retaliation, recalled its ambassador from Tehran. Two days later it launched an airstrike against what it alleges were hideouts of armed groups in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province.
The Diplomatic Meeting
Hossein Amirabdollahian landed in Islamabad before dawn on Monday for “in-depth talks” with Pakistani counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani, Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The attacks, which each country claimed targeted terrorists in border
regions and killed at least 11 people, came as Israel’s bombardment of Gaza escalated tension across the region. However, the elevated threat of a full-blown conflict appeared to send Islamabad and Tehran scrambling to pull back and rebuild diplomatic relations.
Resolution and Cooperation
The two ministers insisted following their meeting that close relations between Pakistan and Iran are an important source of stability for the region, and resolved to expand political and security cooperation. Both spoke of respect for one another’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. The pair agreed to confront the “menace of terrorism” together, especially in the mountainous region on their shared border, which was the location of both airstrikes. They also pledged to lift the regions economically.
The families of the victims rallied on Sunday to demand their bodies be brought home. Pakistan has said that arrangements are being made with Iran’s help. Moreover, Iran’s Amirabdollahian added that “terrorists” in the border areas are supported by third countries.
In conclusion, the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Pakistan marks a significant step towards de-escalation and cooperation between the two nations. The diplomatic discussions and resolutions indicate a mutual commitment to addressing shared security concerns and fostering stability in the region. This visit not only serves as a platform for bilateral dialogue but also paves the way for future engagements and enhances the prospect of mutual cooperation in various domains.