Islamabad, Feb 9: Pakistan and Iran “have a need of friends in the world” and it makes strategic sense for both countries to firm up ties, said a daily Thursday.
An editorial in the News International said that there is a growing convergence between the needs and interests of Pakistan and Iran.
“Pakistan’s external relations with neighbouring states are currently in a dynamic phase. In the last two days we have agreed to import gas from Qatar and now rising to the top of the agenda is the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, and despite pressure from the Americans who view this project with the most jaundiced of eyes, it is beginning to look like it might become a reality,” it said.
Trading opportunities aside, “it is Iran’s gas and the upcoming visit of the Iranian President Ahmadinejad that is of geopolitical importance”.
The editorial said that the world is watching as Iran and the Americans and Israelis spar over Iranian nuclear programme.
“Iran and Pakistan if nothing else have a need of friends in the world, and it makes strategic sense for them to firm up ties. Both have an interest in outcomes in Afghanistan…,” it added.
The editorial said that “an Iran that is comfortable with Pakistan may find that there are other ways to talk to the Americans than by megaphone across the Strait of Hormuz”.
“The physical link of a gas pipeline will be a hook on which other matters may be hung, and although there will be tensions with the Americans around the issue in the short-term they, as we, ultimately play the pragmatist.”