The offer by the Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardost that Pakistan can join the Chabahar port is very encouraging. On the other hand his revelation that port was first offered to Pakistan and China is concerning. Pakistan’s zero sum foreign policy has created a lot of damage and must be abolished. Ambassador Mehdi also suggested that Iran will not allow its territories to be used against Pakistan. He also advised Pakistan to separate trade and politics when dealing with neighbors. It is a wise advice. These statements are also an indication that our regional policy has failed.
My suggestion to PTI and the government will be as follows:
Demand appointment of a full time foreign minister and special envoys for Iran and Afghanistan as soon as possible.
Abandon the Quadrilateral Consultancy Group (QCG) to discuss Afghan crisis and reconstitute it by including Iran and Russia to the platform. Iran has borders with both Afghanistan and Pakistan so it is not possible to ignore her.
Explore a security and intelligence sharing agreement with Iran. Trade and economy cannot improve until a secure environment is provided for it.
Hold consultative meetings with Turkey and Iran to revive Regional Cooperation for Development (RCD) and link it with CPEC.
Use Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) platform to improve relations with India of which both countries are going to be members.
I am not proposing that these are the only good ideas. I am sure others have better ones. We need to collect all these ideas and hold discussions on it.