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China wades into Iran-Pakistan mediation, eyes infrastructure projects

With trilateral action, Beijing hopes to collectively combat terror groups trying to disrupt its mega-project, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
A motorcyclist rides past a high school at Panjgur district in Balochistan province on Jan. 17, 2024.

KARACHI — In an effort to sort out differences between Pakistan and Iran, China will soon be holding a trilateral meeting with both of the countries to discuss counterterrorism and security. While an exact date for the meeting has yet to be set, recent reports say Pakistan’s interior minister, Mohsin Naqvi, is expected to travel to Iran to finalize the arrangements soon.  

Apparently, a tripartite security pact may also be in the offing to avoid future escalations, with a ban by both Iran and Pakistan on terror outfits operating from their mutual border areas.

The first meeting of Pakistan-China-Iran Trilateral Consultation on counterterrorism and security was held in Beijing in June last year, but not much is known about the exact agenda, just that the three countries had decided to institutionalize the process and have the meeting regularly.  

Jan Achakzai, a former caretaker minister for information and public relations for Pakistan’s Balochistan province, told Al-Monitor, “Assessing the effectiveness of the June 2023 meeting publicly is a challenging task, as no specific details have been disclosed regarding actions or successes in counterterrorism cooperation.”

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