ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s former permanent representative at the United Nations in Geneva has called for further strengthening of bilateral ties with Iran especially in diplomatic and economic fields.
In an interview with IRNA on Saturday, he said the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Tehran will even further enhance Iran-Pakistan relationship.
Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay an official visit to Iran on 21-22 April on the invitation of President of Iran, Hassan Rouhani. This will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to Iran.
Zamir Akram said, “In my view this is a very important visit as Iran is our neighbor and we have long traditional relations including history, culture and religion”.
“Iran has been our friend which has come to help many times in past,” said the intellectual.
He further added there were certain difficulties in the region but Pakistan believes that differences between Muslim countries should be resolved through dialogue, cooperation and compromise.
He expressed that bilateral cooperation would be the major topic during Prime Minister’s visit. “We have a lot of potential for trade but that has not been fully utilized to the maximum level”, noted the analyst.
The expert went on to say that people to people contact between Iran and Pakistan is also very important aspect of the bilateral ties. He said lots of Pakistanis visit Iran carry out their religious practices on other hand Iranians should also be encouraged to visit Pakistan.
Zamir Akram said Iran and Pakistan also have lot of cooperation in international domain within the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) within the UN and other multilateral areas.
“I think the two sides will also discuss security issues as there are certain security concerns in border areas,” said the former envoy.
He said, “terrorism is a shared problem and we need to cooperate on that and have a common approach to deal with it”.
The expert on international affairs said the regional Muslims countries should work towards resolving their differences through compromise and understanding and Pakistan is ready to play its part in that respect.
Akram added there would also be discussion about the pressure that has been put on Iran by the US and some countries in the region.
He said Pakistan consistently believes that Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) should be respected and implemented. He also noted that policy of putting pressure on Iran is counterproductive and it would only create further instability in the region.