Historical, Cultural and Geographical Ties Between Pakistan and Iran

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Abdul Qadir
Dr Mir Wais Kasi
Dr Jabeen Bhutto
Dr Abdul Rahman Nizamani


In order to get a vivid picture of Pakistan-Iran relations, the paper delves into the past with Iranian history and Iranian sphere of influence in South Asia. Both South Asia and Iran have ancient historical, cultural and religious ties since the times of the Cyrus the Great to the present. The Persian language and literature particularly the Persian classical poetry have left a great impression on sub-continent’s cultural and educational canvass. Pakistan-Iran border which was drawn by the British in the 1880s, remains still intact. Though the border is a wasteland with little agriculture but on the sea-front both the countries have access to the Strait of Hormuz which is of great strategic importance. Moreover, ethnic Baloch live on both sides of the border and crossborder and trade and livestock is the mainstay of cross-border economy. During the Cold War period, both Pakistan and Iran were subservient to the US policies against the Soviet Union; consequently, both received massive arms and equipment. This paper also indicates that during Mohammed Reza Shah’s time, the relations between Pakistan and Iran were quite friendly but they underwent a change after the Iranian revolution and during General Zia’s time. The main issues have been spelled out up-till 1979 and the minor frictions between the two countries could be managed through diplomacy. External pressures are also influencing the contemporary relations between the two countries and have put Pakistan in a dilemma. Historical and secondary sources have been used for the conduct of the study. Historical research has an important role to play in the Social Sciences. It helps us to understand the present by highlighting the past events.

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