Islamabad, Pakistan: “Iran and Pakistan always stand together whenever the diplomatic need arises and Iranian people look at Pakistan not as a regional partner rather a time-tested friend”.
This was observed in a Round Table on “Iranian Perspective on Iran-Pakistan Relations and Regional Security” organised by the Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) here on Wednesday in Islamabad.
Dr. Saadullah Zarei, an Iranian scholar from Andisheh-Sazan-e-Noor Institute for Strategic Studies, Tehran shared his thoughts about Iran-Pakistan relations in reference to regional security. The round-table was chaired by Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, Chairman Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI).
Executive Director of CISS Ambassador Ali Sarwar Naqvi in his opening remarks said that there was (is) a dire need to understand what Iranians think about Pakistan therefore his Institute invited one of the most important Iranian scholar and regional expert Dr. Saadullah Zarei to share his opinions with strategic experts of Pakistan. Dr. Saadullah Zarei is the Head of Andisheh-Sazan-e-Noor Institute for Strategic Studies. An interactive session was conducted after Dr. Saadullah Zarei expressed his viewpoint over Iran-Pakistan relations and regional security.
Dr. Saadullah Zarei while giving an exclusive interview to Chief Editor of Dispatch News Desk (DND) News Agency Agha Iqrar Haroon said that Chabahar Port of Iran is not competitor of Gwadar Port of Pakistan rather both ports can be integrated into China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and can get benefit from each other. “Pakistan should guard interests of its neighbours while planning CPEC and other trans-regional projects”, said Dr. Saadullah Zarei.
Dr. Saadullah Zarei was of the view that Pakistan and Iran both are (were) facing aggression coming from western countries because both countries stand for their sovereignty and for the larger interests of the Muslim World. He stated that Afghan issue must be dealt through regional initiatives and dialogue because use of power has (had) failed to get results rather aggravated the satiation in Afghanistan. “The approach of “Regional integration” is the need of the day to resolve Afghan civil war”, said Dr. Saadullah.
“Pakistan has a special status among Iranians and Iran has never undermined Pakistani interests whenever a diplomatic situation arose at regional or global level. Iran has good relations with India but always stand with Pakistan over Kashmir cause”, maintained Dr. Saadullah Zarei.
Dr. Saadullah Zarei believes that strong bilateral relations protect Iran and Pakistan in past Iran always gives top priority to Pakistan while dealing with other regional partners. He said that Iran and Pakistan had different positions over Afghan issue in past when Pakistan was supporting Taliban while Iran stood otherwise. Now, both countries are standing together over this issue and believe that Afghan crises can only be resolve through dialogue and by finding political solution Afghans themselves.
Dr. Saadullah Zarei said that there was dire need of people to people contact between Iran and Pakistan and he appreciated Centre for International Strategic Studies (CISS) for providing a chance to share his thoughts with Pakistani researchers, regional experts and diplomats.