US Too Busy With Other Wars to Open Another Front in Iran-Pak Crisis
20:26 19.01.2024 (Updated: 20:29 19.01.2024)
© AP Photo / Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Riley GasdiaIn this photo released by the U.S. Navy, the amphibious assault ship USS Bataan, front, and the landing ship USS Carter Hall, back travel through the Red Sea
© AP Photo / Mass Communications Specialist 3rd Class Riley Gasdia
Tensions between Islamic neighbors Iran and Pakistan escalated earlier this week after the two nations carried out military strikes inside each other's territories.
The US is too busy and occupied with other wars, namely in Ukraine and close partner Israel's combat mission in the Gaza Strip, to opt for opening another front in the Iranian-Pakistan crisis, a geopolitics expert has said.
The remarks of Dr. Priyanka Singh, an associate fellow at India's top-most defense think tank Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (MP-IDSA) came in the wake of media reports that Islamabad sought Washington's advice before carrying out its counter-strikes in Iran's Sistan and Baluchestan province on Thursday.
US Heightens Speculations Over American-Pakistani Dialogue On Iran Strikes
Interestingly, when the US State State Department spokesman Matthew Miller was asked to confirm or deny the same, he evaded the question, saying, "I do not have any private conversations to read out."
Against this backdrop, Singh, a specialist in Pakistani politics, told Sputnik India that tensions between Pakistan and Iran have persisted over a period of time with regard to the movement and activities of the terror groups operating in border areas.
However, she pointed out that the two sides managed to paper over the tensions and maintain a semblance of cordiality in bilateral ties over the years.
Nonetheless, the think tanker noted that Iran was currently on the offensive, especially after the deadly attacks on the memorial of late Iranian General Qasim Suleimani who was killed in a US drone attack in Iraq in 2020.
The deadly attack in Kerman in January 2024 killed nearly 100 people and injured several hundred. Subsequently, Iran blamed Mossad for the attack.
Washington's Interference in Tehran-Islamabad Row Would Aggravate the Situation
"Therefore, it is not far-fetched to believe in the prevailing context that signs of US interference on Pakistan's behalf will only aggravate the situation further," Singh underlined.
The State Department may have declined to comment on whether Pakistan was in touch with the US on the crisis. Yet, there may be some backhand dealing going on between Washington and Islamabad, she opined.
She added that this was also because if the crisis escalated it would be the US and not China that would come forward against Iran because the Chinese call Iranians brothers akin to Pakistanis.
America's Hands Tied With Other Wars
"The US is too tied up at the moment in other theaters in West Asia and Eurasia to be able to open another critical front in the Iran- Pakistan crisis. There must be some thinking on how to go about overcoming the latest predicament. As a superpower that has its hand involved simultaneously in multiple conflicts, the US is left with some very hard choices to make on the current Iran-Pakistan crisis," Singh maintained.
Also, she reckoned that it was highly unlikely that Pakistan could in any way be used by the US against China. The Pak-China partnership is too hard to dent this way and the US knows so quite well.
She expressed that Pakistan was also undergoing political turmoil and a raging economic crisis. Therefore, it may also not be willing to be dragged this time around into another US-propelled regional game against Iran.
"Regardless of that, it remains to be seen in the coming days whether the US decides to pitch in the crisis and use it to counter Iran and whether Pakistan despite all its domestic odds chooses to side with it," Singh concluded.