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Scrutiny
 
PAKISTAN, IRAN: RELATIONS WITH THE WEST
On the wrong side. Period.
Both Pakistan & Iran can ill afford to further hamper relations with the US and its allies
Issue Date - 22/12/2011
 
If you are not a friend of Western powers, the least you can do is to not be their enemy. This philosophy rests strongly on the pillars of historical facts. Iraq & Afghanistan rubbed them the wrong way and faced cataclysmic wars. Iran is the most prominent on their radar for now and more recently, neighbouring Pakistan finds itself on the wrong end of the NATOís barrel.

Two recent incidents have raised concerns for these two nations. The first is the recent attack on the British embassy in Tehran (on November 29) by a pro-regime mob on imposition of fresh sanctions by Britain to put pressure on Iran over its nuclear plan; and the immediate reaction of the British regime to expel Iranian diplomats within 48 hours. EU is planning a complete ban on oil and gas trade with the country. This is despite Iranian officials condemning the attack and handing over 12 people involved in the protest to the highest levels of judiciary for a probe. The second is the recent NATO attack on Pakistanís territory (on November 26, 2011), which killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The US embassy in Pakistan apologized for the incident & terming it an accident, but Pakistan considers it as an attack on its sovereignty. On the other side, US politicians have been echoing repeatedly that relations with Pakistan need to be seriously reviewed.

For Iran, itís always been a question of protecting its sovereignty against NATO aggression and surviving stringent measures aimed directly at its economy. For Pakistan, even if war isnít a real danger (though attacks aimed at militants will most likely continue at the risk of further unintended casualties), thereís millions of dollars of aid at stake. Whether they like it or not, both have some serious fence mending to do with Uncle Sam.

 

Amir Hossain           

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