Iran Ready To ‘Help’ India, Pakistan Resolve Kashmir Issue

Iran has urged India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute, saying that Tehran is ready to mediate between the two South Asian neighbours over the long-standing issue (if requested).
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said over the weekend that friendly ties between the two nuclear powers could only ensure peace in South Asia. The envoy also said that his country is willing to mediate because the Indo-Pak rivalry has not only spilled over into Afghanistan, but also affected West Asia. “Any conflict or tension between Pakistan and India will hinder the progress and development of both the countries, and will also impact upon the economies of other regional countries,” stressed Honardoost.
Speaking at a media conference in Islamabad, Honardoost said that Iran is eager to play the mediator’s role as it shares ‘cordial’ ties with both the countries. He claimed that Iranian officials, who are fully aware of the Kashmir dispute, would try to resolve the issue in such a manner so that New Delhi and Islamabad could live peacefully. He recalled that Tehran had offered to mediate on Kashmir in the past.
In December, Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said that Tehran was ready to speak to both the parties for an amicable solution. “Iran is a close friend of India as well as Pakistan. We would like the relations between our friends to improve. We are ready to do whatever we can, if both our friends so desire,” Zarif stressed.
Meanwhile, Honardoost requested India to join the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, insisting that India should understand that the Chinese project would be a game-changer for the entire region. He expressed hope that the Corridor would emerge as a unifying force for some countries in the coming years. According to the envoy, India’s participation in the project will allow the South Asian powerhouse to work together with Iran, Pakistan and China. In that case, it will be easier for the four Asian nations to throw a strong challenge to the West (especially in the post-Brexit scenario), he added.
Although it is not clear whether India will accept Iran’s proposal, foreign policy experts are of the opinion that the West Asian country, which shares friendly relations with India, Pakistan, China and Russia, has made the proposal after considering its economic and strategic interests. In recent times, Russia, too, urged India to normalise ties with neighbouring Pakistan and China. Even China has expressed interest in maintaining cordial ties with India and urged its southern neighbour to join the CPEC project. In the changing global geopolitical landscape, it becomes crucial for the Narendra Modi government in New Delhi to ‘reshape’ its foreign policy.
Friendly ties between the five nuclear powers (India, Pakistan, China, Russia and Iran) will certainly allow them to create a strong “business and political” alliance.

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