06 Nov 2017/Monday

Earlier the arrest of Indian national Kulbhushan Jadhav (accused of being a spy, nothing proved till date) had got the already tricky Pakistan-Iran ties at a standstill, with Pakistan former DG ISPR, Lt Gen Asim Bajwa accusing Iran of allowing India  to use Iranian soil to cause instability in Pakistan. This was totally rubbished by Iran and it didn’t deter it from further extending bilateral ties with India, since it sees it in its own interests to reach out to India.

On the other hand Iran views the Islamic Military Alliance (IMA, a counter-terrorism alliance formed by 39 Muslim countries) as a coalition of Sunni Muslim countries against Shia Iran and its other allies in the Middle East.  Iran is equally unhappy that Pakistan’s former COAS, Raheel is at the head of this alliance. This already tricky environment was further complicated by the Saudi-Qatar standoff.

Iran’s growing ties with India (Chabahar port now being functional), and it’s own fissures with the US, is definitely making Pakistan very uneasy as it is fearing isolation.  Also, India’s balancing act with the regional countries (Afghanistan, China, Myanmar, Iran etc) is adding to Pakistan’s troubles making it pull its hair out.

It appears that the prevailing situation has compelled Pakistan COAS Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa to packs his bags to Iran, the first by a Pakistani army chief in over two decades. Also, probably he realized that the militancy by non state actors (raised and nurtured by Pakistan only) has now grown out of his own hands and it would need Iranian help to contain terrorism internally before it swallows Pakistan completely.