Pakistan and Iran aim for enhanced bilateral cooperation

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Pakistan’s military chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, on his all important trip to Iran, held meetings with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, along with the Iranian army chief. During these meetings, it was reiterated by both the sides that enhanced bilateral cooperation was the need of the hour.

Gen Bajwa was thank by the Iranian leadership for his visit along with acknowledging Pakistan’s sacrifices and achievements in the war against terrorism. Iran also appreciated Pakistan’s contributions towards regional peace and harmony. Gen Bajwa also discussed issues related to defence and security, along with emphasising on economic cooperation at bilateral and regional level.

“The army chief termed Pak-Iran border as the border of peace and friendship and emphasised the need for better security management, so as to deny its exploitation by the terrorists,” said Pakistan Army’s ISPR in a statement. Additionally, Iranian leadership also agreed to stay engaged for enhanced bilateral cooperation and regional security.

Due to unwarranted criticism and pressure from the United States over the past few years, Pakistan has finally decided to modify its foreign policy priorities. In that regard, policy makers in Islamabad have already started looking eastward, which is visible in form of strengthening of ties with both Russia and China. Additionally, with Trump’s explicitly anti-Iran rhetoric and policies, Pakistan can lure Tehran into forming a new regional alliance with all major stakeholders.

Gen Bajwa’s visit ensured that previous border tensions between both the neighbours were somewhat pacified. Both the countries can now move forward and lay foundation for strong bilateral tries for the future. These ties can be based on both security as well as economic cooperation. Pakistan can ensure that all of Iran’s security apprehensions against Pakistan are addressed through strict border controls. This can only be achieved through active information and Intel sharing on the border.

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