Iran and Pakistan need to mitigate differences to avoid any future clash: Experts emphasize

Islamabad: Iran and Pakistan have preferred rationality over emotions, which will strengthen their historical brotherly ties; otherwise, their adversaries could manipulate any disturbance in their relations. Now, both countries should focus on mitigating their differences to avoid further conflicts, as any escalation in the future will only promote instability while putting the whole region at risk.

These were the views expressed by experts at a meeting hosted by the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS) to understand the situation around the unfortunate escalation on Pakistan’s western frontier. The meeting was attended by Khalid Rahman, chairman IPS, prominent security analyst Brigadier (r) Said Nazir, and Syed Abrar Hussain, Pakistan’s former ambassador to Afghanistan and vice chairman IPS, among others.

The participants unanimously said Islamabad’s position was justified, stressing that Tehran should have pursued alternative diplomatic and political channels to address any concerns. Both friendly countries must work to activate peaceful problem-solving mechanisms to avoid a worst-case scenario.

Recognizing the shared threat of terrorism, the speakers emphasized the need for a collaborative strategic framework and active security cooperation grounded in mutual trust. They expressed happiness that Islamabad and Tehran agreed to de-escalate unconditionally and restore full diplomatic ties.

Despite internal and external sensitivities, Pakistan has historically maintained warm relations with Iran, successfully navigating the complexities to strike a balance in their ties. These cordial relations must be maintained in the future. Both countries must realize that any conflict between them will divert global attention away from the war in Gaza, ultimately favoring Israel and its allies and proving harmful to peace and stability in the Middle East.

The speakers said while the clouds of war are already looming over the Middle East, given Israeli aggression against Gaza and elsewhere, any misadventure could draw the conflict to South Asia. This would only benefit the forces that want to keep this region unstable for their interests.

Therefore, the speakers said, both brotherly countries must avoid miscalculations, come closer, and resolve their issues through dialogue, which is also crucial for their internal stability, given their socio-political fault lines.

The experts lauded the Chinese approach vis-à-vis the escalation between Iran and Pakistan. They reiterated that Beijing has the potential to play as a balancer to promote peace and stability in South Asia, which is as vital for Chinese stakes in the region as for any other regional force.

In his concluding remarks, Khalid Rahman emphasized that creating a war-like environment in the region benefits no one but external entities. However, Pakistan’s calculated and proportionate response shows maturity in decision-making and a preference for a measured approach over impulsive reactions.

He observed that the sudden attention given to the Iran-Pakistan border instead of international concerns like Gaza and Palestine highlights the possibility of narrative manipulation. He lauded the leadership of Islamabad and Tehran for their approach to maintaining peace and resolving issues through diplomatic means while calling for a focus on diplomacy to de-escalate tensions. #

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