ONE-DAY CONFERENCE ON IRAN-PAKISTAN RELATIONS
HELD IN PAKISTAN STUDY CENTRE
Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar and Cultural Centre Islamic Republic of Iran at Peshawar jointly organized a One-Day Conference on Iran-Pakistan Relation. In his opening remarks, Director Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Fakhr-ul-Islam said that strengthening relations with Islamic countries was religious and constitutional obligation for Pakistan. He referred to Article 40 of the 1973 Constitution which provides for role of Pakistan, in strengthening bonds with Muslim countries. He said, in the given geo-strategic scenario, both the states need to revisit their relationship. In his inaugural address, the Director General of Cultural Centre Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Yousafi said that Pakistan and Iran share same border, same religion, same culture and same history. He said Iran and Pakistan have always reciprocated good gestures. Iran was the first state recognizing Pakistan in 1947. On the same analogy, Pakistan was the first to recognize Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979. Col. Retd., Hekmat Shah Afridi, and scholar from Islamabad gave a comprehensive presentation on Pakistan-Iran Relations, prospects and threats. He said that in the relations of Iran and Pakistan, prospects are more than irritants. He said that there are so many commonalities between the two countries and both of them share economic interests. Therefore both the states must enjoy cordial relation. He however regretted that some of the problem areas, such Iran's increasing relations with India, divergence on Afghanistan issue, Pakistan - Saudi ties and sectarian strife, exist which need to be addressed. He said that latest positive development is coming into power of visionary and pragmatic leadership in Iran led by President Rohani. He said that in relation between the two countries, some irritants are easy to remove but some of them will take some time. He stressed the need for minimizing trust deficit and enhancing trade volume.
The second speaker of the conference was Prof. Muhammad Ayaz from Kohat University who spoke on Iran-Pakistan Relations: A Historical perspective. He said there were three pillars of Pak-Iran Relations such as Persian language, Islamic knowledge and Mysticism. Prof. Muhammad Ayaz added that the political scenario of Pakistan and Iran is the same. In both the countries religion and politics have tricky relationship.
In his concluding remarks, the Dean, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Syed Minhaj-ul-Hassan, said the relationship of Iran and areas where Pakistan is situated dates back to thousands of years ago. In these relations, Persian language played a vital role. He however regretted that that British colonial empire in India, replaced Persian with English. He said that relations between Iran and Pakistan were cordial during 1947-1979. But then some changes occurred which created tensions. He said the tensions between the two countries are political which are not difficult to be resolved.
The Conference was also addressed by Prof. Dr. Fazal-ur-Rahim Marwat, Prof. Dr. Babar Shah, Prof. Dr. Shabir Ahmad, Mr. Ghayur Ahmad and several others. At the end, Director Pakistan Study Centre, University of Peshawar, Prof. Dr. Fakhr-ul-Islam thanked the participants, speakers and guests.