It is heartening that President Zardari has assured that Pakistan will not help the US in the event of an attack on Iran. This statement of support would be welcomed inside Iran where it would serve to project an image of Pakistan as a non-aligned state.

There is tremendous amount of love amongst the Iranians for us, but at the same time the element of mistrust has also crept in owing to Islamabad’s posturing towards American diktat. Iranians, who have been courageously looking the Americans in the eye, were concerned about Pakistan giving a foothold to the US. Consequently, a perception had generated that Pakistan might not stay neutral in case of US-Iran war. Also, why President Zardari’s assurance matters a lot is because broadly speaking we are considered to be an important power within the Muslim world, especially since we are the only Islamic country armed with nukes and have the 7th largest army in the world. Secondly, our geopolitical position is also such that without our support, the US would most probably avoid taking on Iran. It is hoped that President Zardari’s statement would turn over a new leaf in bilateral relations. And Iran seems genuinely happy. President Ahmedinejad has offered to double the gas supply. He also underscored the cultural ties between the two nations.

The declaration of the trilateral summit that was the result of this feeling of goodwill is worthy of praise. It clearly shows the will of the three countries to follow a new trajectory of self-help and aversion for US interference. There is absolutely no doubt that terrorism, drug trafficking and other problems ailing the region can be tackled with a joint effort. However, it would be pertinent to take Turkey on board as well, since the country is bothered to see all the mayhem happening in its neighbourhood. Inclusion of Turkey in the equation would also pay the economic dividend so far as

The success of the summit can only be ensured, if all the three countries fulfil their commitments. The joint resolution, “not to allow any threat emanating from their respective territories against each other”, is quite significant. But while Pakistan has given its word to Iran to rest assured that its territory would not be used against it, it remains to be seen how Afghanistan lives up to its neighbours’ expectations. Now that Islamabad has shut down the US bases on its soil, the drones are being operated from Afghanistan, which is in violation of the joint resolution. The ball is now in Karzai regime’s court to see to it that it follows up its words with concrete action. Definitely, it would have a hard time convincing the Americans not to use the bases to launch attacks against Pakistan, but it must do that by all means necessary. That is only how the three partners can go along.