Overview of Relations

Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations are rooted in historical linkages and based on religious, linguistic, cultural linkages and spiritual affiliation. Relations between Pakistan and Iran have by and large remained positive. Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan after independence. After the 1979 Islamic Revolution of Iran, Pakistan was one of the first countries to recognize the new dispensation. The two countries have supported each other at critical junctures in their history.

Bilateral Political Relations

  1. Bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran are undergoing a transformative phase. There is a renewed energy and growing positivity and desire to work together between the two countries. The growing warmth in our relations and desire to re-engage can be measured from the fact that Iranian Foreign Minister Dr. Javad Zarif was the first foreign dignitary to visit on 31 August 2018 after formation of new government in Pakistan. The Foreign Minister once again visited on 31 October 2018 and in May 2019. Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi also visited Iran on 24 December 2018.
  2. The Prime Minister Imran Khan made his first official visit to Iran at the invitation of Iranian President Dr. Hassan Rouhani on 21-22 April 2019. The timely and fruitful visit contributed to enhancing mutual understanding on a range of issues in political, economic and security areas. The visit helped in setting a clear policy direction for durable, mutually-beneficial relations with Iran. The key outcomes of the visit include; Signing of Declaration for Cooperation in Healthcare Sector; initiation of the process for release of a number of Pakistani prisoners; holding meetings of various bilateral mechanisms; opening of new crossing points; and call for peaceful solution of Jammu &Kashmir dispute.
  3. Iran has remained strong supporter of the Kashmir cause. It has openly voiced support for the innocent Kashmiris under brutal siege of Indian forces. The Iranian high leadership has also repeatedly given statements in support of people of Kashmir and condemned unjust Indian atrocities. Similarly, Pakistan’s support on Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) and commitment towards Iran despite US’ unilateral sanctions has been greatly appreciated in Iran.
  4. Despite the excellent bilateral relations, the current trade volume between the two countries is below its full potential. Currently, the volume of trade is US $ 392.08 million with $22.86 million Pakistani exports comprising mainly of rice, meat, paper and paper board, chemicals, textiles, fruit & vegetables; major imports from Iran comprise mainly of iron ore, hide & skins, and chemical products (Pakistani imports US$ 369.23 million).
  5. Iran and Pakistan are working together at expert level to improve road and rail connectivity. This includes upgradation of 700 kilometer Quetta-Taftan highway, improvement of facilities at border crossing points, opening up of new border crossing points (Gabd-Reemdan and Mand-Pishin) and improvement of facilities available to Zaireen during their visits to Iran, Iraq and other countries.
  6. Pakistan-Iran border has been named “Border of Peace, Friendship and Love” by the leadership of both countries. There are many border management mechanisms operational between the two countries.
  7. There is a significant number of Pakistani diaspora living in Iran. Moreover, a large number of Zaireen (0.3 million) visit holy places and shrines in Iran, Iraq and Syria via Quetta Taftan border. There is also a work going on to further strengthen the bilateral relations with Iran through promotion of religious tourism by enhancing tourism to historic religious sites in Pakistan including facilitation to Zaireen.
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