In the complex tapestry of Middle Eastern geopolitics, Pakistan has long been recognized as a steadfast supporter of Saudi Arabia, with its allegiance to the kingdom often overshadowing its relationship with Iran. However, as the geopolitical tides shift and Pakistan finds itself facing critical challenges, such as an energy crisis and strained regional relations, the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia presents a golden opportunity for Pakistan to reassess its stance and capitalize on the potential benefits.

The Iran-Saudi rapprochement, which has surprised many observers, signifies a seismic shift in the region’s dynamics. For Pakistan, this unexpected development holds the promise of opening doors that were previously closed. It presents a unique chance for Pakistan to break free from the constraints of traditional alliances and embark on a new path of diplomacy and cooperation.

For decades, Pakistan has been a steadfast supporter of Saudi Arabia, often prioritizing its alliance with the kingdom over cultivating relations with Iran. However, as the geopolitical tides shift and Pakistan grapples with pressing energy needs and regional challenges, the recent rapprochement between Iran and Saudi Arabia presents a golden opportunity for Pakistan to reassess its stance and capitalize on the potential benefits.

In a region characterized by complex alliances and rivalries, Pakistan finds itself at a critical juncture. While it has enjoyed a close relationship with its neighbor China, Pakistan lacks positive and robust ties with its other border-sharing nations. This isolation has limited its regional options and constrained its ability to navigate an increasingly interconnected world.

However, the recent warming of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia offers a chance for Pakistan to break free from its geopolitical shackles and forge new relationships that can address its own pressing needs and aspirations.

One of the most immediate advantages for Pakistan lies in securing a reliable energy supply. As the country faces an energy crisis and struggles to meet the demands of its growing population, the need for hydrocarbons has become paramount.

In the past, Pakistan’s reliance on Saudi Arabia for energy resources often meant neglecting its ties with Iran. However, the Iran-Saudi rapprochement opens the door to a potential collaboration where Pakistan can tap into Iran’s oil market, which has witnessed the sale of Iranian oil in the black market within Pakistan.

By formalizing legal trade channels and embracing legitimate economic cooperation, Pakistan can not only address its energy needs but also bolster its economic stability and create a win-win situation for both countries.

Furthermore, the rapprochement provides an opportunity to tackle the long-standing controversy surrounding the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline. With Iran having completed its part of the pipeline, Pakistan’s lack of progress has left it vulnerable to potential penalties amounting to a staggering $18 billion. This financial burden could have severe consequences for Pakistan’s economy.

However, the recent events can open a window of opportunity for Pakistan to resolve this issue amicably, avoiding legal repercussions and safeguarding its economic interests. By engaging actively with Iran, Pakistan can demonstrate its commitment to resolving the dispute, paving the way for a stable energy supply and revitalizing its economic prospects.

In addition to economic benefits, a closer relationship with Iran holds immense strategic value for Pakistan. Enhanced cooperation between the two countries would foster an environment of trust and cooperation, paving the way for resolving outstanding disputes and promoting regional stability.

Pakistan’s proximity to Afghanistan and its role in promoting peace and stability in the region would be further strengthened with a positive engagement with Iran. Moreover, a robust relationship with Iran would enhance Pakistan’s leverage in its interactions with other regional players, allowing it to pursue its foreign policy goals more effectively and safeguarding its national interests.

Amidst the chaos of inflation, shortages of hydrocarbons, and a dire need for necessities, Pakistan stands at a critical crossroads. It is incumbent upon Pakistan’s foreign policymakers to seize the opportunity presented by the Iran-Saudi rapprochement and adopt a sustainable approach that puts the well-being of its people at the forefront.

The geopolitical landscape is evolving rapidly, and Pakistan must adapt accordingly. By reevaluating its traditional alliances and embracing a more inclusive foreign policy, Pakistan can embark on a path that not only addresses its immediate challenges but also lays the foundation for a prosperous and stable future.

In conclusion, Pakistan can benefit greatly from the Iran-Saudi rapprochement. It can redefine regional relationships, secure energy supply, and strengthen its geopolitical position. Bold and decisive actions are needed from Pakistan’s policymakers to prioritize the country’s long-term interests and seize the vast possibilities for a brighter future.

*The author is a student of International Relations pursuing a bachelor’s degree at the University of Karachi. 

**The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Diplomatic Insight. The organization neither endorses nor assumes any responsibility for the content of this article.