Pakistan, China and Iran’s first trilateral talks on terrorism are very significant in the security equation of the region. The three states are major stakeholders in this region and are also threatened by the prevalence of terror and militancy as a result. The threat to Pakistan has steadily grown since the US pull out of Afghanistan. Our security forces are hard at work in defending us from non-state actors, but a multilateral cooperation-based strategy will only lead to increased efficacy.
Tehran is similarly threatened by the rise of terror, and the pullout from Afghanistan saw attacks in Iran increase as well. The border between Pakistan and Iran in Balochistan is an additional point of friction that the two states can counter together. Attacks on the border have been reported with militants slipping across to the other side, not to mention that smuggling only adds to undocumented wealth and financing channels, which can lead to more terror funding as a result.
Beijing’s interest in regional terror also remains as relevant as ever, considering China is a regional stakeholder and issues here affect all states. Beijing has also taken a more prominent role on the international stage and is looking to facilitate solving issues quickly and efficiently, which means that its active participation in resolving the terrorism issue here could yield tangible results.
With credible reports and evidence of non-state actors being funded by states such as India to address their own ambitions in the region, it is important to work on a way forward that has all peace-seeking stakeholders on the same table. For this, border security, the protection of key installations, and technology and intelligence transfer are key items to focus on going forward. However, for the most effective results, it is important to bring Kabul; on board as well, as the presence of safe havens in Afghanistan is a pressing security issue for both Pakistan and Iran. The process of trilateral talks is important, and it is good to see this step being taken.