No need to fret over Chabahar port, Iran guarantees Pakistan


–Bazinjo’s presence at Chabahar port opening indicates shift in Pak-Iran ties 

–Diplomat says Bajwa’s visit to Iran opened portal for stronger bilateral ties

Iran wanted to send a message by ensuring Pakistan’s participation in the inauguration ceremony of Chabahar port that it would not allow India or any other country to use Chabahar against the country, Express Tribune quoted an unnamed senior Iranian diplomat as saying.

On December 3, Iranian President Hassan Rowhani inaugurated the first phase beside Pakistan’s port and shipping minister. “This was no coincidence, as Hasil Bizenjo was asked to stand next to Rowhani in a carefully choreographed move.”

Tehran used all available diplomatic channels to make sure that the Pakistani delegation attends the ceremony, which represents a significant shift in the two neighbours’ uneven ties.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s increasing influence in the region and the Kingdom heading a counter-terrorism alliance of Muslim nations, Islamabad and Tehran have been moving closer to each other, and diplomats on either side feel that the two sides understand and appreciate each other’s perspective.

The outlet quoted official sources, saying, “Pakistan has given firm assurances to Iran that Islamabad would not become part of an initiative that targets the Islamic Republic. Tehran, in return, has pledged that it would not allow any regional country including India to undermine Pakistan’s interests.”

Iranian diplomat played down the India hype as ‘psychological warfare.’ He said the Iranian president has already mentioned that Chabahar and Gwadar ports would complement each other in the future and that a memorandum of understanding to this effect has already been signed.

Stressing the importance of army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa’s recent visit to Iran, the diplomat said it was an excellent visit which led to broader understanding “bilateral ties and key regional developments”.

Mentioning the better intelligence cooperation between the countries, officials from the security establishments on either side of the border have started speaking to each other more often over the past few months, which was not possible just a few years ago.



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