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OpinionsPakistani leaders concerned at involvement of Iran in West Asian War

Pakistani leaders concerned at involvement of Iran in West Asian War


Islamabad depends on Teheran for large aid to bailout its ailing

By Girish Linganna

The Friday Times in Islamabad reports that recent changes in the political dynamics of the Middle East could lead to more extensive conflicts. This situation points out a crucial lesson for Pakistan's military and strategic decision-makers: nations must emphasize their own security. Given the uncertainties in relations, it is evident that countries cannot rely on external assistance for their defense.

Iran was aware that Israel's initial attack on its embassy in another country would not be the last. It was crucial for Iran to respond to this first strike to strengthen its defense and deter Israel from further attacks. Iran understood that it had to handle this situation on its own, as no other nation would intervene to help.

The time when global powers would step in to help their allies during conflicts, as seen during the Cold War, has passed. Israel's clear acts of aggression show that there's no uncertainty about their intentions. Now, militarily stronger nations can easily pressure weaker ones into submission. The idea that liberal values curb the aggressive behaviour of powerful, heavily armed nations is becoming less credible. In practice, concepts like human rights, peace, and non-violence often seem to be just tools for U.S. diplomatic efforts, rather than genuine priorities.

The same holds true for Pakistan regarding Israel and Palestine says the media outlet. Both countries are located far away and do not possess strategic importance or pose a threat to Pakistan. As tensions escalate between Israel and Iran, Pakistan should be concerned about two things. Firstly, it is not in Pakistan's best interests to have Iran suffer from economic devastation and military destruction. It would be detrimental for Pakistan if Iran's state and society were destroyed by the Western political bloc and its Israeli allies. Additionally, the consequences of another refugee crisis and neighbouring war could have a significant impact on Pakistan's economic outlook. If the Iranian state were to be destroyed, it would result in rising oil prices and pose a security risk to Pakistan.

The media outlet raises the question of why President Asif Ali Zardari spoke on the phone with the Iranian President just three days before Iran retaliated against Israel. While it's typical for leaders to exchange Eid greetings, there is speculation about whether they discussed the recent Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus.

According to the official press release from the information ministry, President Asif Ali Zardari expressed his sincere condolences and sympathies to the Iranian leadership and the families affected by the Israeli attack on the Iranian embassy in Damascus. President Zardari is experienced in diplomacy, and it is likely that he understood the significance of including these statements in the press release, especially considering that even children were discussing the potential for an Iranian counterattack.

Furthermore, it is true that Israel's concerns regarding Pakistan's strategic missile and nuclear program have been alleviated. Pakistan has consistently clarified that its strategic program is focused on and has engaged in both public and private diplomatic interactions with Israeli diplomats in international forums. These efforts have been successful in easing Israel's apprehensions regarding Pakistan's weapons programs reports Friday times media outlet. According to the Media outlet, it is frequently observed that Pakistan's official discussions emphasize that their missile capabilities are primarily aimed at India. Simultaneously, the issue of Israel is deliberately omitted from these conversations to address Israel's worries regarding Pakistan's nuclear delivery capabilities.

It is recognized at the official level that a direct confrontation between Iran and Israel would have severe economic consequences for Pakistan. According to Friday times media outlet, Pakistan's economy is still recovering from the negative effects of increased oil prices during the Ukraine war. This conflict would essentially be taking place in close proximity to Pakistan. It is uncertain whether it will remain confined to an Iran-Israel dispute and whether the United States will actively support Israel.

The response of Arab states is a significant consideration. In the event of a direct conflict between Israel and Iran, neighbouring countries such as Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and possibly even Saudi Arabia would inevitably be drawn into the situation. Any projectiles targeting either Israel or Iran would have to pass over the territories of these nations.

If Washington becomes directly militarily involved in the region, it could lead to the downfall of the Iranian state and society. This would have significant consequences for Pakistan. Firstly, the resulting turmoil from crippled economies and devastated military infrastructure could extend beyond Iran and affect the wider region. It is important to note that the Iranians would fiercely resist, thereby contributing to the chaotic situation.

The response of Muslim public opinion could be even stronger than it was following the destruction of Gaza. Iran, being a fully independent country with a significant population, holds great influence. If the conflict escalates, oil prices would soar due to the high volume of oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz. This could potentially lead to a refugee crisis for Pakistan, and the chaotic conditions in Iran could serve as safe havens for Baloch militant groups located along the Pakistan-Iran border regions.

The Pakistani military maintains a robust connection with Iran's security and political authorities, as evidenced by the frequent interactions between military officials of both countries. While Pakistani public opinion expressed deep concern over the devastation in Gaza, the Pakistani military and political establishment chose to overlook the anger displayed by the Pakistani public regarding the Gaza situation.

There were two clear signs that the Pakistani establishment disregarded the evident anger within Pakistani society. COAS General Asim Munir visited Washington and engaged in friendly discussions with US defense officials, coinciding with the time when these officials were overseeing the provision of advanced weapons and ammunition to the Israeli occupation forces, resulting in the loss of innocent lives in Gaza reports Friday Times. Additionally, according to reports from the media outlet, American and British diplomats were engaging in friendly conversations with Pakistani politicians and discussing their future plans, while Pakistani public opinion was reaching a boiling point due to the situation unfolding in Gaza.

Reports suggest that Pakistan economy is currently in a fragile state and may struggle to handle the aftermath of a war, even one that occurs in a distant country like Ukraine. It is important for Pakistan's political and economic leaders to begin considering how economy would react if a war were to break out closer to home.

The Pakistani security establishment is primarily concerned about the opinion of the Pakistani public and how they would react if the United States takes strong action against Iran. The public's opinion and the moral pressure it generates will make it difficult for the Pakistani government to stay completely neutral in this conflict. At the very least, Pak officials will need to communicate clearly at the diplomatic level regarding the potential devastation of Iran and its society. If the alliance between the United States and Israel intends to militarily destroy Iran, it will have significant repercussions for Pakistan. This means that Pakistan would have not only Afghanistan but also Iran as neighbouring countries facing considerable instability. The impact on Pakistan and the entire region is easy to imagine, according to the analysts.





The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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