With Iran’s relationship with Saudi Arabia and the USA becoming increasingly tumultuous in the past few years, its relationship with Pakistan has consequently also taken a hit, or at least, become more uncertain. Yet with the situation in Afghanistan ongoing, both countries seem to realise that a stronger relationship has to be fostered. The current visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif to Pakistan for talks on bilateral collaboration and regional issues appear to be an opportunity for just that.

Fortunately, it seems that the meeting is going quite well and representatives of both countries are on the same page. The trip has already led to some fruitful development—as a result of their talks on bilateral cooperation, Iran has announced the opening of a border crossing point with Pakistan for facilitating trade. This means that Iran will open the Rimdan crossing, some distance away from Chabahar port in its Sistan and Baluchestan province. The opening of this particular crossing point will be beneficial for Pakistan—its proximity to the port means that it is favourable for the export and import of fruits, livestock, construction material, and petroleum products.

This is an important development and needs to be expanded on by Pakistan. The bilateral trade between Pakistan and Iran stands at $359 million only, despite sharing a long land border. Trade with Iran can be very beneficial for Pakistan’s exports, especially in rice, meat and other agriculture products.

The times have shown that regional cooperation is the name of the game, particularly in the South Asian region currently. With the new US-Indian bilateral agreement, countered by China and Iran’s joint efforts in the UN, there are new geopolitical dynamics in the area, and Pakistan has to identify the new trends, and strengthen and build new alliances.