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What to Expect from Iranian President's Pakistan Tour Amid Mideast Turmoil?

© AP Photo / Vahid SalemiAn Iranian worker welds two gas pipes at the beginning of construction of a pipeline to transfer natural gas from Iran to Pakistan, at the mile 250 in southeastern Iran, near the Pakistani border, Monday, March 11, 2013.
An Iranian worker welds two gas pipes at the beginning of construction of a pipeline to transfer natural gas from Iran to Pakistan, at the mile 250 in southeastern Iran, near the Pakistani border, Monday, March 11, 2013.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 17.04.2024
According to Geo News, the Iranian President is scheduled to visit Pakistan on 22 April for discussions covering crucial topics. These include the Middle East crisis, improving diplomatic and economic relations between the two countries, addressing the Iran-Israel conflict, and pushing forward with the completion of the gas pipeline project.
In an interview with Geo News, Defence Minister Khawaja Asif expressed Pakistan's readiness to finalise the gas pipeline project with Iran and make a decision regarding it. This announcement comes prior to the official visit of Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi to Pakistan, following an invitation extended by Pakistan's President.
The Pakistani Defence Minister emphatically stated that Iran has the right to retaliate in response to Israel's attack on its consulate, which he deemed to be a clear violation of international laws. He also condemned the Israeli assault on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, which resulted in the deaths of senior military officers.
Touching upon this topic, the defence chief raised concerns and highlighted the potential impact of escalating tensions in the Middle East on other countries, including Pakistan. He warned that nations supporting Israel might also be sucked into the inferno of war.

President Raisi's First Foreign Visit: Strengthening Ties with Pakistan

Iranian President Raisi's recent visit to Pakistan, at the invitation of President Asif Ali Zardari, is notable as it marks his first foreign trip since the conflict between Iran and Israel. This visit provides a crucial opportunity to discuss a range of important issues between the two neighbouring Islamic countries, including the Iran-Israel conflict and the progress of the gas pipeline project.

"It is crucial to work towards normalising the relationship between Pakistan and Iran, especially after the airstrikes in January that targeted militant groups within each other's territories," Dr. Nazir Hussain,a geo-political analyst, foreign affairs expert, & former Dean of International Relations and Politics, told Sputnik India.

Dr. Hussian noted, "Although the specific objectives of this visit have not been officially disclosed, there are discussions regarding the Pak-Iran gas pipeline. Pakistan has expressed its commitment to executing this project from our end, indicating that the discussions are likely to revolve around economic matters."
Pakistan is keen on promoting regional peace and stability, Brigadier Dr. Tughral Yamin (R), a foreign affairs analyst, professor, former dean of the school of politics, & policy expert, told Sputnik India.
Iran presents an opportunity for fostering friendship and collaboration in the region. At times, Pakistan must navigate this relationship while considering its ties with Saudi Arabia.

"The visit is expected to yield mutual benefits for both countries and prove advantageous in the long term. Additionally, Pakistan is facing opposition from the US regarding the Iranian gas pipeline issue," Dr. Tughral Yamin (R), a political analyst said.

New Chapter Unfolding in Pak-Iran Relations?

After nearly a decade, both countries are scheduled to hold a crucial official meeting, signifying a pivotal moment in their relationship.

"Definitely, there is a possibility of addressing the recent escalation in the Middle East crisis during the visit. Pakistan has condemned the Israeli attacks on the Iranian embassy, and this visit presents an opportunity to enhance the Tehran-Islamabad relationship on a geo-strategic level, enabling both nations to address security challenges in the region," Dr. N. Hussain, a Pakistani pundit, expressed.

"It is also conceivable that a trip to Iran by the Pakistani Prime Minister or President may follow in a similar way after this visit," he concluded.
The already strained relationship has been worsened by recent attacks on border sites targeting militant groups. Furthermore, regional conflicts such as the Iran-Israel conflict and the crisis in the Middle East, along with the halted Pak-Iran gas pipeline project due to American sanctions on Iran, have added layers of complexity to the situation. According to analysis, the upcoming official visit is expected to lead to a change in dynamics.
An Iranian military truck carries missiles past a portrait of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei during a parade on the occasion of the country's annual army day on April 18, 2018 in Tehran. - Sputnik India, 1920, 12.04.2024
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