The outlook of meetings between Pakistan’s Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan and the Iranian leadership was a positive one. The outcomes of the sessions can only be gauged only after PM Khan’s meeting with Saudi Arabia’s leaders, in general, and the crown prince, Muhammad bin Salman, in particular. The peace initiative that Imran Khan wants to lead tells one that the current Pakistani leadership has deliberated on the pros and cons of any possible conflicts between Tehran and Riyadh. The peace initiative that Imran Khan has taken up is welcome. PM Khan correctly senses that should any conflict break out between the regional archrivals, the war will spill over into Pakistan.

Undoubtedly, Pakistan cannot afford any conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan wants to avoid taking sides in any such dispute. Hence, Khan’s diplomatic peace initiative. PM Khan used a careful language while leading the diplomatic offensive. The carefully chosen words of Imran Khan that Pakistan was a facilitator not a mediator were necessary for depicting Pakistan as an impartial actor. Hopefully, Khan and his team will continue with such a stance even when they land in Saudi Arabia. Only such an approach can help in bringing Tehran and Riyadh to a negotiating table.

Moreover, the fact that it was PM Khan’s second visit to Iran this year will also help in strengthening the ties between Pakistan and Iran. The tour will, undoubtedly, ward off any suspicion that considers Pakistan as a natural ally of Riyadh against Tehran. The peace initiative informs anyone that Pakistan marches to its own tune. The project that Imran Khan has embarked upon will establish Pakistan’s neutrality if the worst fears in the form of a direct conflict between Riyadh and Tehran. It is not wrong to say that Khan’s visit to Iran was amicable and productive.