February 15, 2022
ISLAMABAD – Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday described the Pakistan-Iran border as a frontier of “peace and friendship” and underlined the importance of joint cooperation between the two countries for addressing security issues.
The premier expressed the views during a meeting with Iranian Interior Minister Dr Ahmad Vahidi, who called on him during a day-long visit to Islamabad.
According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said, PM Imran expressed satisfaction over the “positive momentum in brotherly relations between the two countries” and highlighted the vast potential that existed for enhanced collaboration in diverse fields.
Minister for Interior of Iran, Dr. Ahmad Vahidi, called on Prime Minister @ImranKhanPTI today. pic.twitter.com/mVHOe9nKWp
— Prime Minister’s Office, Pakistan (@PakPMO) February 14, 2022
The prime minister particularly emphasised the importance of close bilateral collaboration to boost trade and regional connectivity, the statement said, adding that he also stressed the early completion and operationalisation of border sustenance markets for the economic uplift of people living on both sides of the Pakistan-Iran border.
PM Imran also expressed satisfaction over the “convergence of views regarding a peaceful and stable Afghanistan and underscored the importance of close coordination between the two countries”.
He stressed the need for urgent action by the international community to prevent a humanitarian crisis and an economic meltdown in Afghanistan and measures to enhance practical engagement, strengthen stability, and counter terrorism.
The premier thanked the Iranian government and the country’s supreme leader for their “steadfast support” for the resolution of the Kashmir issue.
He extended an invitation to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to visit Pakistan “at an early date”.
Dr Vahidi conveyed the cordial greetings of the Iranian leadership to the prime minister on the occasion and reaffirmed Iran’s desire to strengthen bilateral relations in all aspects, the PMO said.
The Iranian minister had arrived in Islamabad earlier today and was received by his Pakistani counterpart, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed.
COAS calls for collective efforts against miscreants along Pak-Iran border
During his meeting with the Iranian delegation, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa called for collective efforts to “deny any space or liberty of action to be exploited by miscreants along the Pakistan-Iran border”.
“Geostrategic environment, particularly the regional security situation, and bilateral cooperation in defence and security domains were discussed during the meeting,” a report by Radio Pakistan said.
The COAS and the Iranian minister also exchanged views on the Pakistan-Iran border security mechanism, including border markets.
The visiting dignitary, while acknowledging that ensuring stability in Afghanistan was a collective regional responsibility, appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for peace and stability, particularly by means of humanitarian assistance, to mitigate challenges faced by the people of Afghanistan, the report added.
Pakistan, Iran to form joint working groups to strengthen bilateral relations
In the meeting with Rashid, the two sides agreed to form joint working groups to strengthen bilateral relations.
Rashid shared a statement in this regard on his official Twitter account, announcing that the two sides had also agreed on setting up markets along the Pakistan-Iran border and increasing the number of border terminals.
ایران کے وزیر داخلہ ڈاکٹراحمد وحیدی (H.E. Dr Ahmed Vahidi) کا دورہ پاکستان
ایرانی وزیر داخلہ ڈاکٹراحمد وحیدی کی اپنے ہم منصب شیخ رشید احمد سے ملاقات
وزیر داخلہ کی قیادت میں ایرانی وفد اور وزارت داخلہ کے اعلی حکام کے درمیان دو طرفہ مذاکرات
— Sheikh Rashid Ahmed (@ShkhRasheed) February 14, 2022
“The two sides also exchanged views on completing fencing work on the Pak-Iran border at the earliest [and] it was agreed that the territory of Pakistan and Iran should not be used for terrorist activities against each other,” the statement said.
The regional security situation, the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, exchange of prisoners, facilitating pilgrims, ways to prevent illegal immigration and drug trafficking, and other matters were also discussed during the meeting.
According to the statement, Dr Vahidi “strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan and said his country considers terrorist attacks in Pakistan attacks on Iran”.
“Pakistan and Iran have long lasting historic ties,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Rashid Ahmed thanked Iran for supporting Pakistan’s position on occupied Kashmir, the statement said, adding that he termed the recent increase in terrorist attacks “regrettable” and highlighted the need for joint cooperation to end terrorism.
He said Pakistan would continue to play its positive role for lasting peace in the region and welfare of Afghan people, according to the statement.