*ISLAMABAD:* Appreciating Pakistan’s neutral stance over Yemen conflict, former Iranian minister and Foreign Relations Strategic Council Head Dr Kemal Kharazi stressed Pakistan and Iran should join hands and work together to ensure regional and global peace.
He was addressing the session Emerging Regional & Global Scenario – A Perspective From Iran which was organised by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Islamabad. The session was chaired by former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan.
Dr Kemal Kharazi was of the opinion that any cooperation between Iran and India can never be against Pakistan, much the same way no Pakistan alliance with Saudi Arabia can be made against Iran . He said that every country operates to serve its own interests but its increasing relations with India were not going to hurt Pakistan in any way.
He said that Pakistan and Iran enjoyed cultural, religious, geographical and historical ties and even their interests were not much dissimilar from each other. It was thus the need of time that these deep-rooted relations be graduated to economic ones, which would provide significant impetus to the region’s economic growth. The linking of Gwadar and Chabahar Port was termed an important step by the Iranian former foreign secretary that should be taken in this regard.
Speaking about some of the conflicts that existed between Iran and Pakistan, the speaker said that none of those issues were very serious in nature and hence they should not be reflected on the policies of either country.
Shedding light on the developing situation in Afghanistan, Dr Kharazi termed the involvement of Taliban in Afghanistan’s government necessary, stating that any such development will invalidate any legitimate reasoning for United States’ stay in Afghanistan. The speaker stressed that Iran and Pakistan should join hands and work together in this regard as both the countries have suffered extensively over the matter. The US on the other hand, he viewed, would want to extend its stay in Afghanistan as much as possible as this will help in keeping an eye on China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan.
Talking about the status of a nuclear deal between US and Iran following US President Donald Trump’s threats, Dr Kharazi said that though Iran was still sticking to the agreement, US was trying to run away from it and had already started violating the deal in the process. He said that the options for Iran were still open in case of US violation.
On the matter of Daa’ish, the speaker said that the organisation was formed to counter the Iranian revolution but it failed to serve the purpose. He said that Daa’ish had recruited 80 thousand personnel which included 50,000 fighters from different countries. If Daa’ish becomes successful in Iran and Syria, then it will break the countries into parts, which will eventually benefit Israel.