Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Relations: More Growth, But Not Close – Part One: Afghanistan, India and China
Pakistan and Iran have worked together to bring stability to Afghanistan, although they do not see eye-to-eye on a future role for the Taliban. There is much potential in their relationship, especially with regard to the export of energy and Pakistan will progressively deepen its relationship with Iran. That relationship will also be informed by Pakistan’s relationship with China, its interests in Afghanistan and Central Asia, and its ongoing enmity with India.
The overwhelming electoral victory of Modi’s BJP in India’s most populous state demonstrates his continuing political strength and will have an immediate effect on the country’s politics and foreign policy.
The first round of polling will be held on 20 March and the actions taken by the eventual victor will have a significant long-term effect on the direction of the Timor-Leste economy at a time of falling oil and gas revenues.
In the United States, the steady return to profitability of the resurgent oil industry could increase the troubles of an already-fractured OPEC led by Saudi Arabia.
India’s Balochistan policy should be based on a clear-headed assessment of its stakes and its capability to intervene meaningfully. The Baloch issue should not be used by New Delhi as a bargaining chip or a quick-fix to any of the problems that it may have with Pakistan because such short-termism will harm both the Baloch cause and India’s overall interests.
Malaysia’s widely praised de-radicalisation programme could be a valuable tool in New Zealand and may be utilised in Indonesia.
The Baloch people live in a resource rich, strategic territory next to Afghanistan and the Persian Gulf and in the middle of Iran, Central Asia and the Indian Sub-continent. Of the countries with large Baloch populations, Pakistan is the most reliant upon the ports and resources of its insurgent Baloch province. Given the structure of the Pakistani state and the division of the Baloch people across three countries, a standalone secession of Balochistan in the manner of Bangladesh seems infeasible.
The visit will likely see billions of dollars poured into improving Indonesia’s oil refining capacity but it also raises the issue of the influence of Wahhabism and the “Arabisation” of Islam in Indonesia.