Islamabad- The Iranian Foreign Minister is scheduled to visit Hussein Amir Abdullahian Pakistan tomorrow, Monday, at the invitation of Pakistani Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Gilani.
This visit carries great importance, especially as it comes days after the two countries entered an atmosphere of tension following exchanged strikes against targets of “terrorist groups” stationed in the border areas between them.
There were fears of further escalation between the two countries, as Iran's strike against targets in Pakistan was considered a violation of the latter's sovereignty, and similarly Pakistani strikes against Iranian targets were viewed.
The easing of tensions came after a phone call between the Pakistani Foreign Minister and his Iranian counterpart on January 19, and following Pakistan's military response to the Iranian strike it launched late on January 16.
According to the Pakistani Foreign Ministry's statement, during his call with his counterpart Abdullahian, Minister Gilani expressed Pakistan's readiness to work with Iran on all issues based on the spirit of mutual trust and cooperation. He also stressed the need for closer cooperation on security issues.
Following the Iranian strike, Pakistan withdrew its ambassador from Iran, stopped the return of the Iranian ambassador who was visiting his country at the time, and also stopped all high-level diplomatic visits with Tehran.
In a first step to restore diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Pakistani ambassador to Iran, Muhammad Mudassir Tipu, went to Tehran the day before yesterday, Friday, to begin his diplomatic duties. The Iranian ambassador also arrived in Islamabad on the same day.
In a tweet on the “X” platform the day before yesterday, Friday, Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said that, according to the understanding between the two countries, Ambassador Mudassir Tipu arrived in Tehran, while the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan, Reza Amiri Moghadam, arrived in Islamabad.
For his part, the Pakistani ambassador to Iran expressed in a tweet on his way to Tehran the necessity and importance of Pakistani-Iranian relations for the region and for strengthening historical relations, and said that it is time to open a new page.
Likewise, the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan expressed upon his arrival Islamabad He welcomed the rapid and effective diplomatic measures taken by the two countries to address the recent tensions.
In turn, Javed Hafeez, former Pakistani diplomat and head of the Islamabad Center for Political Studies, considered that the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan is welcome to reduce tension between the two countries, and that Pakistan views it very positively.
Hafeez indicated in an interview with Al Jazeera Net that this visit represents the correct initiative at the political and diplomatic levels on the part of Iran, and will work to reduce tension between the two countries, but at the same time it is a step in the short term.
Hafeez explained that the visit represents a symbolic value greater than being a visit to resolve long-term problems and disputes between the two countries, adding that long-term disputes need more focus, because they are related to combating “terrorism” on both sides of the border and coordinated steps to stabilize these areas.
On the other hand, foreign relations expert Muhammad Mahdi considered that the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit is taking place in a way that makes Iran realize that it has made a big mistake, and wants to remove the bad consequences of this mistake.
In an interview with Al Jazeera Net, Muhammad Mahdi said that during the visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Pakistan, it will be understood whether the decision to attack Pakistan was issued by the Iranian military establishment alone, or whether its political leadership was also involved in it.
Mahdi believes that if the military establishment and political leadership participate in this, it will be unlikely to restore relations, but if this is the work of the military establishment alone, Pakistan wants not to put pressure on the Iranian political leadership and enable it to put the military establishment on the right track with regard to Pakistan.
In the same context, the Pakistani “Hum News” channel said that the diplomatic engagement is poised to have a positive impact on the overall relationship between Pakistan and Iran.
The Iranian Foreign Minister's visit to Pakistan is expected to be a pivotal moment in the ongoing diplomatic dialogue and open ways to enhance cooperation and understanding.
The channel also said that this diplomatic exchange is expected to enhance cooperation and synergy on various fronts, ranging from economic relations to regional security, and the visit is expected to pave the way for further discussions on common interests and challenges facing the two neighboring countries.
Javid Hafeez believes that the most important files that can be discussed during the Iranian Foreign Minister’s visit to Pakistan – in addition to discussing not providing safe haven for separatists – are means of increasing cooperation in common trade and economic issues between the two countries.
Hafeez explains that among these issues is ending the smuggling of oil, drugs, and even people across the border between the two countries, and these are steps that require long-term future focus.
He added that he expected to discuss how to increase trade exchange between the two countries and coordinate to make relations between the two countries more stable and positive.
For his part, Muhammad Mahdi believes that other issues can be discussed officially during the scheduled visit of the Foreign Minister, but there will be nothing special outside of the latest situation, in reference to the recent tension between the two countries.
Mahdi added that the visit will ease the tension in relations between the two countries, but it remains to be seen whether the Iranian Foreign Minister will confront the Pakistani media or not, and if he does, what will he say about Iranian Balochistan?
Iran launched a missile strike and used drones late on January 16 against the “Army of Justice” group opposed to it, which Tehran says is based on Pakistani territory in Balochistan province.
Pakistan strongly condemned the attack, and the Pakistani Foreign Minister assured his Iranian counterpart in a phone call on January 17 that the incident caused serious damage to bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran, and that his country reserved the right to respond to this “provocative” act.
Pakistan also responded to the Iranian strike by launching strikes in three different regions in the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan against the “Balochistan Liberation Army” and the “Balochistan Liberation Front,” which are anti-Pakistan armed organizations that Islamabad says are based in Iran.