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Pakistan, Iran agree to revive border hotline [The Nation] 04 May, 2017

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan and Iran on Wednesday agreed in principle to revive hotline between the border security forces of the two countries in order to resolve all issues on the border.

Both sides made the commitment during a meeting of Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan with the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, said a statement issued by the Ministry of Interior.

The foreign minister, who also held detailed meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, was leading a 12-member high-powered Iranian delegation.

Prime Minister Nawaz expressed his resolve that both Iran and Pakistan would achieve the set target of taking the bilateral trade to $5 billion in the shortest possible time.

The prime minister further stressed the need for more interaction between the two brotherly Islamic states at all levels for the mutual benefit of the peoples of Iran and Pakistan.

The Iranian foreign minister thanked the prime minister and the Government of Pakistan for continued efforts for strengthening bilateral relations and enhancing interaction in all areas including trade and economic cooperation as well as border and security issues.

He also conveyed the desire of the Iranian leadership and the government for continued efforts for growth in bilateral ties.

The prime minister expressed satisfaction at the increasing high-level exchanges between the two countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields.

Nawaz hoped the two sides would continue to expand economic interaction for promoting mutually-beneficial cooperation in the areas of trade, investment, energy and connectivity.

The issues of peace and stability in the region also came under discussion during the meeting.

On the tragic incident that took place in the Iranian province of Sistan involving martyrdom of 11 Iranian border security guards on 26th April 2017, the prime minister conveyed Pakistan’s condolences to the government and people of Iran.

Meanwhile, Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to having lasting relations with Iran as well as its efforts to reduce friction among the brotherly Muslim countries.

According to the ISPR, the army chief stated this, while talking to Javad Zarif who called on him at the General Headquarters (GHQ) Rawalpindi.

The ISPR said issues relating to bilateral interest and regional security came under discussion during the meeting.

“Pakistan was committed to having lasting relations with Iran and will keep up its efforts to reduce friction among the brotherly Muslim countries,” the army chief was quoted as saying by ISPR.

The ISPR further said both sides agreed on improving bilateral broader coordination to deny any space to the terrorists as tremendous bilateral cooperation potential was identified in various fields.

Iranian foreign minister appreciated the efforts of Pakistan and its army against terrorism.

During their meeting, Interior Minister Ch Nisar and Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif also reaffirmed their commitment not to let their borders and their lands get used by anyone against each other.

The visit of the Iranian foreign minister to Pakistan was in the wake of the killing of 10 Iranian security guards along the border with Pakistan. Iran has alleged that the militants from Pakistani side carried out the attack.

Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to work closely for promoting mutual cooperation in the areas including effective border management, curbing drug trafficking and checking illegal cross-border movement.

They expressed their pledge to work in these areas through better coordination, greater intelligence sharing and frequent interactions at the political, military, and security levels, as well as at the level of various ministries.

To remove irritants and overcome issues of mutual concerns in the areas of border management, illegal human and drug trafficking, the two leaders decided that operational committees at various levels would be constituted for identification of areas of cooperation, addressing mutual concerns and suggesting way forward for further enhancing bilateral cooperation between the two countries.

The committees will specially focus on border management, information and intelligence sharing and curbing illegal human and drug trafficking.

The two sides were unanimous in their views that they are willing to go an extra mile for furthering Pakistan-Iran cooperation especially in areas of mutual interest and concern.

At the outset of the meeting, the two leaders, while reciprocating warm sentiments of the people of the two countries observed that being the immediate neighbours sharing strong cultural, religious and historical ties, Pakistan and Iran have no other option but to work hand-in-hand to overcome existing challenges at individual, regional as well as international levels vis-à-vis the issues confronting the Ummah.

The interior minister observed that visit of the Iranian foreign minister along with high-ranking officials would provide momentum to the existing bilateral relations and promoting multifaceted cooperation, on the one hand, and would find a way forward for the solution to the irritants affecting bilateral relations between the neighbours.

“Your visit will send a strong message to those who wanted to undermine Pakistan-Iran relations and always look for an opportunity to create mistrust between the two friendly countries,” Nisar observed.

He said Pakistan and Iran were tied together in strong bonds of common faith, history and culture. The two countries not only share geographical boundaries but also face common issues and problems, the interior minister said.

We must join hands to overcome our mutual issues, securing peace and stability for the region and more importantly for the security and economic prosperity of our people, Nisar said.

The Iranian minister also extended invitation to Nisar to visit Iran observing that such high-level visits especially that of the interior minister would add momentum to the efforts aimed at further cementing Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations.

While reciprocating warm sentiments of the people of the two countries observed that being the immediate neighbours sharing strong cultural, religious and historical ties, Pakistan and Iran have no other option but to work hand-in-hand to overcome existing challenges at individual, regional as well as international levels vis-à-vis the issues confronting the Ummah.

The interior minister observed that visit of the Iranian foreign minister along with high-ranking officials would provide momentum to the existing bilateral relations and promoting multifaceted cooperation, on the one hand, and would find a way forward for the solution to the irritants affecting bilateral relations between the neighbours.

“Your visit will send a strong message to those who wanted to undermine Pakistan-Iran relations and always look for an opportunity to create mistrust between the two friendly countries,” Nisar observed.

He said Pakistan and Iran were tied together in strong bonds of common faith, history and culture. The two countries not only share geographical boundaries but also face common issues and problems, the interior minister said.

We must join hands to overcome our mutual issues, securing peace and stability for the region and more importantly for the security and economic prosperity of our people, Nisar said. The Iranian minister also extended invitation to Nisar to visit Iran observing that such high-level visits especially that of the interior minister would add momentum to the efforts aimed at further cementing Pakistan-Iran bilateral relations.

 

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-May-2017 here.

    
 
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