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Operation Marg Bar Sarmachar: future of Pak-Iran relations

Operation Marg Bar Sarmachar: future of Pak-Iran relations

Waheed Hussain

It takes years to turn an enemy into a friend, but a single wrong act takes seconds to make close friend a foe. This is what the Iran has done against a neighbour-Muslim country Pakistan. How Iran could conceive an idea of attacking Pakistan? From where the advice came? Why Irani leadership failed to analyze and judge the worst consequences of that illegal action? Why Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar was in Tehran, just a day before the attack?

What was the objective of that immature and heinous crime? Iran has failed to achieve anything except attracting the international media and audience for wrong reasons.

Terrorism! Well, Pakistan has paid a huge price due to terrorism for decades and still paying every second day. Beside innocent citizens young officers and soldiers of law enforcement agencies embrace martyrdom in various violence acts being launched by the Baluchistan Liberation Army, Baluchistan Liberation Front and other banned organizations in Baluchistan province. The sacrifices rendered by people and security forces of Pakistan are incomparable to any other nation including Iran.

It’s better that the Iranian leadership has immediately realized the severity of their ill-calculated action and accepted Pakistan’s offer to address such complicated issues through a peaceful-comprehensive dialogue. The willingness was expressed by the Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian, during a telephonic conversation with his Pakistan counter-part the care taker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on 19 Jan, 2024. The two sides also agreed to restore the diplomatic relations and send back their Ambassadors to Tehran and Islamabad.

Apparently, Iran is seemed to be frustrated due to its inability to respond to Israeli aggression in Middle East. The American-British along with other allied forces air strikes against Houthis in Yemen in response to their (Houthis) attack on the cargo ships in red sea also disturbed Iranian government.

Attacking on Pakistan, Syria and Iraq shows the Iran’s political, diplomatic and security limitations in countering Israel and western antagonists. The time when I was writing these lines the international media broke a story of attack on senior officers of Iran Revolutionary Guards Crop (IRGC) in Damascus, Syria on Saturday 20th of January 2024. Internal conflict among the Muslim countries in the Middle East is the main reason of Israeli aggression and ongoing violence against the innocent Palestinians.

Historically, Pakistan and Iran always enjoyed great friendly and brotherly relations. They always stood with each other in the difficult times. So, keeping in mind the close brotherly relations between the two Muslim nations, Pakistan and its people could not even think that Iran would cross international border with hostile intentions killing the innocent citizens.

Unfortunately, after Iranian aggression against Pakistan the perception has changed. It may take some time to restore the confidence of the masses.

The time when the Iranian were attacking Pakistan on 16 Jan, 2024, a-day early, the Indian highest diplomat, External Affairs Minister, Jaishankar was in Iran. Was he on a honey-moon trip? Whatever was the purpose but Iranian action indicated that India might had some kind of poisonous role in the aggression against Pakistan. Indian Naval Commander Kulbhushan Jadhav arrested from Baluchistan in 2016, was carrying Iran’s passport and entered into Pakistan from Iran. So, Pakistan concerns about Indian rough activities in Baluchistan are genuine and of serious nature. Indian involvement in terrorism in Baluchistan is well established. It has been hosting the Baloch terrorists and providing training, financial and logistic support for years to destabilize Pakistan. Pakistan had submitted evidence of Indian involvement in Baluchistan through a dossier to the UN in November, 2020.

The Iran soil has been used by India and its terrorists’ associate against Pakistan. But Pakistan has never contemplated of attacking Iran, the way it did!

As Pakistan is a responsible nation of the international community and wants to address such tricky issues through peaceful dialogue. Just for a reference to terrorism issue, India used Afghanistan during Hamid Karzai and Dr Ashraf Ghani’s governments. Even today, Pakistan is bleeding due to TTP and other violent groups operating from Afghanistan. But Pakistan always demonstrated patience and asked the Afghan interim government (Afghan Taliban) to address the issue of TTP.

Iran and Pakistan have great economic and trade potential. The two countries have been working to enhance the bilateral economic cooperation. They are part of ECO and other regional and international forums. However, they can only benefit when the two states enjoy complete trust and confidence on each other. Aggressive postures will harm the future cooperation.  

During Pakistan-Iran standoff, some anti-Pakistan individuals launched a negative propaganda against the armed forces of Pakistan. They were posting scandalous image of the security forces, army leadership, particularly the Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir. In such a situation enemy of Pakistan like India do take advantage. Try to malign Pakistan Army, to create wedge between the armed forces and masses. The best way to counter propaganda, is to be pro-active on all media platforms and other forums presenting and promoting the true picture of the issue.

Meanwhile some trends on the ‘X’ former ‘tweeter’ platform were launched by the political workers and Vloggers supporting a particular party in the country. Most of those so-called media Aristotle and Socrates regularly post fake stories to mislead the masses just to please few sick-minded individuals.

In politics, no problem if someone disagree with a political ideology or opinion. However, when the matter is of national security, sovereignty and defense of the country, the nation needs to be united—standing behind the armed forces of Pakistan instead of spreading rumors. Pakistan armed forces bravely responded to the Iranian aggression and send a load and clear message to everyone including Iran, that, Pakistan is a peace-loving state, it wants a friendly relation with all countries including its neighbors. Yet, it will not compromise on its security and sovereignty, which in fact is a red line.

Iran attacked three countries, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan. It was only Pakistan which demonstrated the courage and bravery to respond back in stronger manner. The India crossed the LoC dropped weapons in Balakot KPK province in February 2019, Pakistan Air Force responded with courage, captured IAF pilot Abhinandan. All it was because of our strong defense. If someone try to weaken security forces— its tantamount to weaken Pakistan. Politics and defense should be treated separately.

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