Dr. Amna Mehmood (IR Expert)
The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Jawad Zarif to Pakistan under current circumstances carries much significance. Pakistan-Iran relations are visible as it is heavily investing in Chahbahar Port. The visit will provide an opportunity to both the countries to enhance trade relations to a great extent. Iran must also realize that peace in Afghanistan is not only in the interest of Pakistan, but also in favor of Iran as well. The United States is not interested in bringing peace to Afghanistan so Pakistan and other neighbors should work together for putting an end to the lingering conflict in the war-torn country. Both the countries should also focus on improving people-to-people contacts.
Dr. Zahid Anwar Khan (IR Expert)
The policies of Pakistan regarding Afghanistan are based on ground realities and its policy makers devise the policies on the basis of actual happenings in the region. If the United States wants to bring stability in Afghanistan then without the support of Pakistan it is not possible. Initially, the United States adopted aggressive attitude towards Afghan Taliban and tried for a military solution but now realized that the only solution to Afghan situation is political. In the past, whenever Pakistan tried to bring Taliban on negotiation table then any of their commanders was being targeted by United States through drone attacks.
Dr. Farooq Hasnat (IR Expert)
The main objective of the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Pakistan is to maximize trade volume among the two countries. Other issues including border security issues will also be discussed during this visit. Iranian Foreign Minister reiterated the commitment that Iranian soil will never be used against Pakistan. Dr. Jawad Zarif will also try to eliminate the misunderstandings and concerns of Pakistan over Indian investment in Chabahar port and also offered Pakistan to invest in the project. Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan. Iran is also focusing on improving its relations with other countries of the region.
Mirza Ikhtiyar Baig (Economist)
Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan is an opportunity for both the countries to improve bilateral trade. Iran is big market for Pakistani rice. Both the country need to sign a Free Trade Agreement in order to maximize trade. Dr. Jawad Zarif vowed to increase his country's trade with Pakistan to $5 billion by 2021, as the current trade volume is around $1.16 billion between the two neighbors. The mutual efforts of the two countries have resulted into enhanced economic and people-to-people interaction, which should be further strengthened. Both the countries emphasized the need to deepen connectivity to harness benefits from regional economic integration.
Dr. Talat Wazarat (IR Expert)
As far as Pak-Iran relations are concerned people of both the countries have brotherly affiliations with each other. Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan as an independent country. Some differences have been observed among the two countries in past few years and India took advantage of these differences and strengthened its relations with Iran with a mind to use Iranian soil for evil designs against Pakistan. Both the countries could play a leading role in finding a peaceful solution to prevailing instability in Afghanistan. Both Pakistan and Iran should cooperate with each other for effective border management and to curb drug trafficking and illegal cross border movement through intelligence-sharing.
Dr. Mansoor Akbar Kundi (IR Expert)
There is no doubt that United States and its allies have been defeated in Afghanistan. The policies of United States in Afghanistan have resulted in the increased influence of Taliban in the war-torn country. There are no good ideas anymore for U.S on how to escape from Afghanistan with anything resembling a win. US President Donald Trump's decision to reject talks with the Taliban will only trigger more attacks and aggravate the war. It is fact that there would be no solution to the war in the country, if there are no talks with the Taliban as Taliban are in control in major area of the country.