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21 April 2024 - 20:58
Ebrahim Raisi welcome to Pakistan

Naveed Aman Khan - Pinpoint


Amid regional tension with Israel, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has reached Pakistan as per schedule on April 22. He will also travel to Lahore and Karachi during his three-day visit. The dignitary is warmly welcomed by Pakistani nation. Raisi's three days visit to Pakistan is bigining of new era between Pakistan and Iran. In karachi he will be confered honorary degree of doctorate. 

Before Raisi's visit to Pakistan Israel launched a drone attack on Iran. The  Iranian air defense missile system has been activated after the sound of an explosion near Isfahan on April 19 morning. The Iranian defense system destroyed the three drones fired at the Isfahan military base. The Iranian nuclear installations are completely safe from the Israeli drone attack.

Against this backdrop, Pakistan was cautiously monitoring the unfolding situation as any deterioration might persuade the Iranian president to postpone his visit to Pakistan. Senior authorities of both sides have been in touch with each other about President Raisi’s visit to Pakistan. Pakistani nation has long been looking forward to welcome the Iranian president. Both Pakistan and Iran need to cement bilateral ties and enhance volume of the trade. 

 This Israeli drone attack on Iran will increase tension in the region. In near future, the UN should stop Israel's hostilities against Iran. The EU has demanded restraint both from Israel and Iran. Mounting tussle is not in anyone's interest. Pakistan is keenly observing the situation.

Iran has denied any damage done by Israeli drone attacks. It was not a guided Israeli missile attack on Isfahan. The apparent Israel attack was symbolic and carried out with a lot of care to avoid any reaction from Iran. The US Secretary of State Anthony Blanken avoided confirming Israeli attack on Iran on the sidelines of the G7 meeting. He was informed about the attack at the last minute. The US didn't provide more information about the attack. Jordan has indicated that it will remain neutral in Israel - Iran tension as no country wants to become a battlefield. 

President Ebrahim Raisi's visit has come against the backdrop of an unprecedented border standoff between Pakistan and Iran early this year. The crisis between Pakistan and Iran was triggered by Iranian missile strikes inside Pakistani territory which Pakistan leveled subsequently without any delay. Shocked by the Iranian move, Pakistan had to recall its ambassador from Tehran and conduct retaliatory strikes inside Iran couple of days later. The deteriorating situation, was controled without haste when both the countries established high-level contacts. Realising the sensitivity of the head-on situation Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian reached Pakistan within no time. The two countries agreed to restore diplomatic relations and decided to descend future escalations. As part of the confidence-building measures, Iran conveyed to Pakistan that its president would visit Pakistan after the February 8 elections.

With the Iran-Israel tussle and deepening Middle East crisis, the visit of the Iranian president is being followed closely by the outside world. The US and Western countries are seeking greater sanctions against Iran and discussing new measures to further isolate it. It is a test case for Pakistan to host the Iranian president at a time when the US and its allies are looking to corner Iran.

The two sides during the visit of the Iranian president would discuss the January missile exchanges and measures to avoid such incidents in future. In order to boost bilateral cooperation, the two countries are expected to make a move on the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. The Pakistani government recently approved the laying of a gas pipeline on its side of the border in a move that annoyed the US.

The project was to be completed in December 2014 but fear of US economic sanctions discouraged Pakistan from going ahead with the multibillion-dollar project. Pakistan feared a possible penalty from Iran and in order to avoid that scenario it decided to build an 80-kilometre patch from Gwadar to the Iranian border. The US has always objected to the project and made its intention clear after the latest push by Pakistan to import gas from Iran through a pipeline.

Pakistan, insisted that the country is laying a pipeline on its territory. The question of importing gas would come when the pipeline is connected to the Iranian network. The process of construction could take time and Pakistan would assess the situation.
Pakistan is assessing the situation of Israeli attack on Iran also. Pakistan is naturally concerned over any escalation in the region. For months, Pakistan had underlined the urgency of international efforts to prevent the expansion of hostilities in the region and for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Instead of showing restraint and upholding international law. Israel has continued with its violation of international law. The irresponsible and reckless Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on the first of April 2024 has further vitiated security in an already volatile region. The world reiterate it's call on the UN Security Council to stop Israel from its adventurism in the region and to hold it to account for its violations of international law. The council should actively contribute to efforts for restoring and maintaining international peace and security. 

The writer is editor, TV anchor, geo political scientist, book ambassador and author of several books based in Islamabad. He can be reached at naveedamankhan@hotmail.com
And X @AmanNaveed11

News ID 197479

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