Pakistan Rakes Up Kashmir Issue At Iran President Raisi’s Visit

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's Visit to Pakistan & Kashmir Issue
Diplomatic Summit in Progress: Iranian and Pakistani officials engage in high-level discussions aimed at strengthening bilateral ties and addressing regional security issues.
  • Kashmir Discussion During High-Level Talks

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s Visit to Pakistan & Kashmir Issue

Background of the Visit:
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi embarked on a three-day diplomatic journey to Pakistan amidst recent military escalations with Israel. This visit, set against the backdrop of intensifying regional tensions, aims to address key regional and bilateral issues shortly after mutual attacks between Iran and Israel.

Agenda and Discussions:

  1. Arrival in Islamabad: President Raisi began his visit with high-level discussions scheduled with Pakistan’s key officials including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and General Asim Munir, head of Pakistan’s influential military.
  2. Focus Areas: Talks centered on enhancing economic cooperation, border security, and energy partnerships, reflecting both nations’ intent to revitalize their relationship and tackle mutual concerns such as terrorism and border instability.

Economic and Trade Focus:

  1. Trade Expansion: Leaders discussed plans to increase bilateral trade from $2 billion to a targeted $10 billion.
  2. Key Sectors: Discussions aimed at making substantial advancements in connectivity, energy, and agriculture. The aim is to formalize trading activities which currently involve essential commodities like crude oil and liquified petroleum gas.

Cultural and Political Relations:

  1. Cultural Exchanges: The leaders considered ways to enhance people-to-people exchanges which are currently limited but include thousands of Pakistani Shia pilgrims traveling to Iran annually.
  2. Deepening Ties: The visit aimed to foster better cultural exchanges and deepen interpersonal connections, enhancing long-standing cultural ties.

Regional Security and Diplomatic Efforts:

  1. Security Talks: Discussions focused on the recent tensions at the Iran-Pakistan border and strategies to collaboratively combat terrorism and enhance border security.
  2. Complex Regional Dynamics: Iran’s ongoing conflict with Israel and Pakistan’s stance on regional security issues, including its non-recognition of Israel, added complexity to the discussions.

Implications for Regional Stability:

  1. Bilateral and Regional Importance: The diplomatic engagement is viewed as crucial for both improving bilateral relations and stabilizing the broader region, especially considering the volatile borders Pakistan shares with India and Afghanistan.
  2. Broader Diplomatic Efforts: The talks are part of ongoing efforts to stabilize the region amidst persistent conflicts and diplomatic challenges, aiming for a peaceful and cooperative regional environment.

Kashmir Discussion During High-Level Talks

During the high-level talks, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif notably raised the issue of Kashmir. Prime Minister Sharif emphasized the importance of Kashmir in Pakistan’s regional diplomatic engagements. In contrast, President Raisi’s response focused more on the Palestine issue, underscoring Iran’s longstanding support for Palestinian autonomy and resistance against oppression. This divergence in focus highlights the varied regional priorities and diplomatic approaches between Iran and Pakistan, even as they seek common ground on other bilateral and security issues.

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