A New Crisis Between Iran and Pakistan

Global Dispatches -- World News That Matters

Jan 22 2024 • 27 mins

On Tuesday January 16th, Iran launched airstrikes in Pakistan targeting a terrorist group it claimed carried out attacks in Iran. Two days later, Pakistan responded with its own strikes in Iranian territory, targeting a separatist group that has carried out attacks against Pakistan.

These attacks were notable for both their scale--these were major missile and drone strikes --  and for the fact that Iran and Pakistan otherwise have normal, stable and even cordial diplomatic relations. These are not hostile neighbors, yet in the course of one week they conducted military strikes on each others' territory. These hostilities come amid escalating instability throughout the broader middle east.

My guest today Michael Kugelman is Director of the South Asia Institute at the Wilson Center. We kick off discussing Pakistani-Iranian relations and why this episode is such a departure from normal. Michael Kugelman explains how this flare up is influenced by the fraught situation in the Middle East, and offers some insights into how this crisis may evolve in the coming days and weeks.

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