Iran-Pakistan Relations: The Current State of Affairs
The Iran-Pakistan relationship has been evolving over time. Ties between the two neighbors have been shaped by bilateral security concerns and strategic interests on one hand and flux in political identity of the two states on the other. Iran and Pakistan were strong allies during the time of the Shah Regime as they had a harmonious political outlook and shared membership in the American led political block during the Cold War. With the Islamic Revolution, Iranian national identity underwent a radical change and gave birth to a political vision that was confrontational in essence. Diverging geopolitical interests and alignments in the region moved the two nations further apart. Iranian security accord with India and Pakistan’s strong ties with Saudi Arabia further contributed to making the relationship complex and uneasy. The burgeoning of cross border security threats and attempts to politicize Pakistan’s Shiite community made both states wary of each other. These developments have been critical in impeding efforts to enhance ties in the economic and energy fields. These differences have not however led either state to confront the other as they both fully realize the near disastrous consequences of such a conflict. Nonetheless, they have also failed to develop a mechanism to address bilateral issues and thus a tense competition epitomizes the state of bilateral affairs.