Mushtaq Ahmed Mehar (Former Ambassador):
The maiden visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Iran is vital as Iran is an important regional stakeholder. Iran is also among the countries, which recognized Pakistan as an independent state. Pakistan and Iran close historical, defense and cultural relations. Pakistan managed to have balanced relations with Iran and Saudi Arabia and also played an important role in bringing Iran and China closer to each other. Iran can support Pakistan in overcoming gas and power shortages. Iran provided moral and material support to Pakistan during its 1965 and 1971 wars against India. Iran is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in regional development, and is also keen to expand trade with Pakistan.
Dr. Aliya H. Hashmi (Renowned Economist):
The trade relations between Iran and Pakistan are unsatisfactory at the time. Being the neighbor country, we have to build strong relations with Iran. The visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Tehran is an opportunity to connect the disconnects happened in the past. Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project is the most viable and feasible energy project for Pakistan and needs to be completed at the earliest. Pakistan should sign bilateral trade agreement with Iran with special focus on the exports of rice and textile products from Iran and import of oil products and other things from Iran. The sanctions imposed on Iran would have no impact on Pak-Iran relations.
B.A. Malik (Former Ambassador):
Iran is an important neighbor and both Iran and Pakistan have traditional relations. The recent terrorist act on the Coastal Highway is a tragic incident and Iran will take action against the culprits involved in it on the basis of actionable intelligence shared by Pakistan. The coward attack may be an effort to destabilize Pak-Iran relations. The completion of Pak-Iran gas pipeline project should be the top priority of both the countries. Due to common borders with Iran, financially and geographically this project is the most viable option for our country. Iran and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. This concern should be at the top of the agenda of negotiations and consultations between the relevant authorities.
Dr. Salma Malik (IR Expert):
The extent, to which the historical, geographical, cultural and most importantly the civilization linkages exist between Pakistan and Iran, is not always observed even among the different segments of the same state. Pakistan, in last few years, has taken positive steps to normalize the Pak-Iran tensions. Pakistan’s most important relations should be with its neighboring countries like Afghanistan, Iran and China instead of the United States. The need of time is that both Iran and Pakistan should explore new areas of cooperation. Pakistan battled out India on diplomatic and military fronts, it reached out to Iran quietly through relevant channels to defuse the crisis.
Dr. Huma Baqai (IR Expert):
Tehran is an important regional stakeholder. Both Pakistan and Iran should forget the past and look for new potential opportunities. Both Iran and Pakistan have been affected by the menace of terrorism. Iranian foreign minister has strongly condemned the recent terror attack and ensure for action against culprits involved in it. There should be a solution-oriented approach of both the countries. Effective border management system with Iran will be helpful in stopping the cross-border movement of the terrorists. There is the need that both the countries should address the concerns of each other. Iran could promote its institutional cooperation with Pakistan in a variety of economic, political, security and cultural spheres through a long term strategic approach.