Pakistan and Iran’s security pact, intends to address terrorism, abduction and other issues that occur along the porous border. It aims to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in tackling terrorist groups hailing from both Iran and Pakistan. The timing could not be more apt than this; after the four abducted Iranian guards return home, bilateral efforts now focus on dealing with a permeable border that is punctuated by increasingly ruthless extremist factions. Thus, both sides have agreed to work together under enhanced mechanisms to address security concerns – something both cannot afford to neglect.

The significance of the pact is even more crucial given how Pakistan finds itself ensnared in a tricky spot of maintaining cordial ties with both Iran and Saudi Arabia. The rivalry exercised between the two countries can be felt in Pakistan, which has become a quasi-playground where proxy clashes premeditated on sectarian lines continue to ruin the lives of ordinary citizens. Furthermore, with Syria on the international community’s agenda, Pakistan’s positioning with Iran – a staunch ally of the Assad regime – cannot be practiced without extreme caution. With them or without them, it is clearly not an optimal situation to be found in.

If sincerely followed through, the pact holds the potential to improve the security dilemma in Balochistan where extremist groups of both sects Shia and Sunni continue to infiltrate communities and terrorize lives. Additionally, the agreement could also address and assist those across the border where escalating violence against locals is the norm. The pact, consisting of a single article and 11 clauses in which the subjects of cooperation, strategies, costs and the responsible ministries are discussed, may as well be the balm Iran and Pakistan have been searching for all these years.