Pakistan Sides With Iran Against US – OpEd
By Jim Kouri
If Americans are wondering whether or not relations between the United States and Pakistan have improved, Friday’s announcement by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari clearly shows relations between the two supposed allies are far from cordial.
During a televised interview on Pakistan’s GEO TV, Zardari pledged Pakistan’s support for Iran if it is invaded by foreign forces.
The privately-owned local Urdu TV channel quoted unidentified sources as saying that the Pakistani president made the pledge during his meeting with the visiting Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who arrived in Islamabad on Thursday for a two-day Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran trilateral summit.
The report claims that the Pakistani president told Iranian President Ahmadinejad that Pakistan will not provide bases to the United States military if it intends to attack Iran and it will support Iran against any and all foreign aggression.
On Thursday, Zardari held a private meeting with Ahmadinejad at his presidential house. Many intelligence analysts wonder if the conversation between the two leaders addressed nuclear weapons, according to an Israeli source who spoke with the Law Enforcement Examiner.
Pakistan possesses nuclear weapons, while the Iranians continue their pursuit of them as well as missiles that may carry a nuclear payload, according to intelligence officials.
However, the Pakistani news service reports that the two presidents discussed bilateral political and economic cooperation and ways to strengthen ties.
On Friday afternoon, at the conclusion of the summit, Pakistani, Afghan and Iranian leaders issued a statement saying the “three countries will ensure respect for sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity as enshrined in the U.N. Charter.”
They also reported that the Fourth Trilateral Summit shall be held in Kabul by the end of 2012. The Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan trilateral summit was first introduced in 2009 with the aim to strengthen the cooperation among the three countries in the fields of economy, energy, infrastructure, anti-narcotics and border management, etc.