Prime Minister Imran Khan has emphasised that Pakistan and Iran already enjoy close and cordial relations and must further strengthen bilateral cooperation for mutual benefit, Radio Pakistan reported on Wednesday.
His remarks came during a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif in Islamabad.
The Iranian minister arrived in Islamabad late Tuesday on an official visit to discuss matters of mutual interest between the two states.
Speaking to Zarif, the prime minister also underscored the need for enhanced bilateral cooperation and highlighted the importance of bilateral trade and economic relations.
He also stressed the need to work closely to promote peace, security, and development in the region.
Shedding light on Pakistan’s efforts towards facilitating peace and stability in Afghanistan, the prime minister said there is no military solution to the Afghan conflict.
He reaffirmed Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned peace process and hoped that this historic opportunity would be seized by all Afghan parties to secure a political settlement.
The premier further said that that peace in Afghanistan would be beneficial for the entire region as it would create new opportunities for trade and economic cooperation as well as regional connectivity.
He welcomed Iran’s steadfast support for the Kashmir cause.
Zarif, Gen Bajwa agree on enhanced cooperation
Earlier in the day, Zarif met Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa to discuss regional security at the army’s General Headquarters (GHQ) in Rawalpindi.
According to a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Zarif discussed matters of mutual interest, regional security situation, including the Afghan reconciliation process, Pak-Iran border management, and border markets.
Gen Bajwa said that enhanced Pakistan-Iran cooperation will have a positive impact on regional peace and stability. Zarif appreciated Pakistan’s positive role for regional stability, especially the Afghan peace process, and pledged to keep working for better relations between two brotherly countries.
Zarif says Iran ‘satisfied’ with Pakistan support
Zarif also arrived at the Foreign Office for a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
Among other issues, the foreign ministers discussed the coronavirus pandemic situation in both countries. Qureshi was sorrowful and regretted the loss of lives in Iran and praised the country’s efforts to effectively contain the spread of the virus.
The two leaders also discussed the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, saying that long-lasting peace in the country is crucial to maintaining peace and stability in the region.
Subsequently, the two briefly spoke to the media.
“Like Pakistan, Iran also desires stability in Afghanistan,” FM Qureshi said, adding that during the meeting, bilateral trade and the region’s situation were discussed.
The foreign minister thanked Iran for backing Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.
“Mutual consultation will further improve relations,” Qureshi noted.
Meanwhile, Zarif said that his country is satisfied with the support they had received from Pakistan.
“Immigration, counter-terrorism, and other issues were discussed,” he added.