Pakistan has finally decided to support Saudi Arabia’s Syrian policy by abandoning its earlier nonaligned position. The Iran-Saudi Arabia antagonism and tug of war in the Middle East is not a secret. In this perspective, Islamabad’ clear tilt towards Riyadh would send a very bad signal to Tehran. In fact, Pak-Iran relations are already facing some problems. Pakistan’s lack of interest and open US opposition, to the long-pending Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline project, are not so bright now. Iran is also not happy with Pakistan for the systematic and continuous killing of Shiah in the country.

Recently five Iranian border guards were kidnapped and allegedly taken by the militants in Pakistan. Reacting to this incident, Iran has threatened to send its forces into Pakistan’s territory to free those abducted guards. Now, the suicidal attack on the Iranian Consulate in Peshawar would further effect the already-deteriorating relations between the two countries. Pakistan now has hostile regimes on both its eastern and western borders, the anti-Pakistan forces also intend to extend the so-called ‘strategic encirclement’ policy against Pakistan to Iran.

Pakistan cannot afford another hostile or unfriendly state as a neighbor, after the demise of its so-called ‘strategic depth’ theory in Afghanistan. In the present scenario, Pakistan has to carefully formulate its internal as well as regional security policy. Pakistan should also stay away from all the intra and inter-Arabs conflicts and controversies to save itself.

MOHSIN RAZA MALIK,

Lahore, March 5.