August 7, 2015

Experts and academics viewed Pakistan in a gainful position post-Iran’s nuclear deal scenario given it plays a balancing role among the deal’s different stakeholders, especially between Iran and the GCC countries.

Deliberating upon the reservations of the Gulf countries that look at the deal between Iran and US as part of a greater strategic plan in the Middle East they also underscored the need for developing a modus operandi to clear all possible misunderstandings beforehand.

The views were expressed at a seminar: ‘Iran’s Nuclear Deal Program: Prospects and Challenges’ held on Friday here at Institute of Policy Studies, Islamabad. The seminar was addressed by Ambassador (r) Tariq Osman Hyder, Brig (r) Said Nazir, IPS associate, Dr. Zulfiqar Khan, Head, Department of Strategic Studies, National Defence University, Islamabad and DG-IPS Khalid Rahman.

Giving a Pakistan-centric view of the situation, Hyder said that the circumstances had provided Pakistan opportunities to build upon. He gave the example of Pak-Iran gas pipeline project which was halted from quite some time. Iran, he said, had already built the pipelines up to its borders and now it was Pakistan’s turn to build it further.

Trade was another area the former ambassador highlighted stating that despite being immediate neighbours, Iran’s trade with Pakistan was merely over one billion dollars whereas it is over ten billion with India and Turkey each despite the sanctions.

Joint cooperation for peaceful nuclear power generation was another area pointed by the speaker. Brig (r) Said Nazir stressed on the need for Pakistan to adopt a balanced foreign policy in view of the recent developments. He also hinted an increased role of Iran in Afghanistan after the lifting of the sanctions.

The key participants of the seminar included Dr. Nazir Hussain, Associate Professor, School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-i-Azam University, Dr. Noman Omar Sattar, Director, Area Study Centre for Africa, North and South Americas, Quaid-i-Azam University, Brig (r) Dr. Tughral Yamin, Associate Dean, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Mirza Hamid Hasan, member IPS-National Academic Council and former Secretary, Ministry of Water and Power.