Explained: Iran, Pakistan, and the Baloch militancy

Source: Indian Express

Subject: International relations

Topic: International Relations and Terrorism

Issue: Pakistan Iran relation

Why in news: Iran and Pakistan have attacked militant bases in each other’s territory, but also reaffirmed their commitment to good neighbourly ties.

  • Recently the relationship between Iran and Pakistan has taken serious hits after they have attacked militant bases in each other’s territory.

Relationship between Iran and Pakistan:

  • A) Phase I (before 1979 (Islamic revolution of Iran)):
  • Both countries were firmly allied to the United States ,
  • In 1955, both joined the Baghdad Pact, later known as the Central Treaty Organization (CENTO), a military alliance modelled on NATO.
  • Iran provided material and weapons support to Pakistan during its 1965 and 1971 wars against India.
  • The Shah of Iran criticized the liberation of Bangladesh.
  • B) Phase-II (After 1979 Islamic revolution of Iran)
  • The two countries found themselves at opposite ends of the sectarian divide.
  • Geopolitical differences also emerged.
  • There were attempt to reconcile with Iran during Benazir Bhutto’s(1995) and Asif Ali Zardari’s regime.
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(Image Courtesy-BBC)

Common Baloch problem between Iran and Pakistan:

  • Iran-Pakistan share 909 Kilometer long border along Goldsmith Line.
  • Ethnic Baloch live on either side of the line, in the Pakistani province of Balochistan, and the Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan.
  • And some population aslo live in the neighboring areas of Afghanistan in the north.
  • Baloch share cultural, ethnic, linguistic, and religious links that transcend modern borders.
  • They also nurse deeply rooted grievances against both the Pakistani and Iranian states.
  • Iran and Pakistan have earlier cooperated to combat the Baloch insurgency.
  • At the same time, the insurgency has been a source of tension, with the two countries accusing each other of harboring and supporting terrorists.


  • India has described the strikes as the matter between the two countries.
  • At the same time India has mentioned its uncompromising position of zero tolerance towards terrorism.
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