A new beginning in Pakistan Iran bilateral ties

A new beginning in Pakistan Iran bilateral ties
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TEHRAN - Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan was in Iran for two days. Pakistan and Iran on Monday agreed to boost security cooperation and set up a Joint Rapid Reaction Force to fight terrorism and guard the common border between the two countries.

'The most important reason why I'm here, Mr. President,' Khan said, addressing Iran 's President Hassan Rouhani, 'is because I felt that the issue of terrorism was going to ... increase differences between our countries.'

The Pakistani guest made a commitment concerning militants using his country's soil near the border as a safe haven: 'We trust that both countries will not have terrorist activities from their soil,' he said. 'We will not allow any damage to your country from our soil.'

Imran Khan, along with a delegation, was on his maiden two-day official visit of Iran , at the invitation of Iranian President Rouhani, to strengthen bilateral and commercial relations.

Imran Khan also met with Iran´s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who called for the 'strengthening of relations in spite of the will of enemies.'

Ayatollah Khamenei blamed those unnamed 'enemies' for the attacks on both sides of the Iran-Pakistan border, which the supreme leader said were intended to 'contaminate' relations between the two Muslim nations.

“We will cooperate with each other in helping political settlement of Afghan issue as peace in the war-torn country will help both Pakistan and Iran , the prime minister said. Iran and Pakistan have agreed to set up a joint border 'reaction force' following a number of deadly attacks by militant groups on their frontier, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced on Monday after talks with visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan.

'We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combating terrorism,' Rouhani told a joint news conference, following months of increased tensions over attacks on both sides of the frontier.

'The security chief will sit down with his counterpart here and discuss (security) cooperation,' Khan said, although no details were given on the joint force. 'We trust that both countries will not have terrorist activities from their soil ... We will not allow any damage to your country from our soil,' said the Pakistani premier.

Stressing that 'no third country' could harm Iran-Pakistan ties, an apparent reference to the United States and its policy of isolating the Islamic republic, Rouhani said Tehran was ready to boost trade and business ties with Islamabad.

'In the current situation, the region’s countries must decide and plan for their interests independently and directly,' Rouhani said. For his part, Khan said his visit to Tehran aimed to 'find ways to increase trade and cooperation... in energy and other areas', noting that two-way trade was 'very limited'.

The joint statement issued after the conclusion of Prime Minister Imran Khan's two day official visit to Iran said both sides reiterated the importance of deepening and reinforcing bilateral ties based on principles of national interest, territorial integrity and mutual respect for national sovereignty.

Both sides highlighted that common borders should be the borders of peace and friendship, and acknowledged the necessity of forging regular cooperation and exchange of views between political, military and security officials of the two countries to combat threats such as terrorism, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking, hostage-taking, money-laundering and abduction. It was also agreed that the 10th Round of the Special Security Committee of the two Ministries of Interior will be held in Islamabad in June 2019 to discuss these matters in detail.

They called for swift implementation of bilateral agreements as a step towards realizing this important goal.

Both sides acknowledged the necessity of forging regular cooperation and exchange of views between political, military and security officials of the two countries to combat threats such as terrorism, smuggling of narcotics, human trafficking, hostage-taking, money-laundering and abduction.

They called for swift implementation of bilateral agreements as a step towards realizing this important goal.

It was also agreed that the 10th Round of the Special Security Committee of the two Ministries of Interior will be held in Islamabad in June 2019 to discuss these matters in detail.

It was also agreed that the next meeting of the Joint Consular Commission would be held on 2nd half of 2019 to review the progress made so far and chart the way forward in further facilitating the movement of people from both sides. Pakistan side welcomed the initiation of the process for release of a number of Pakistani prisoners by the government of Iran , and for making arrangements for their expeditious repatriation to Pakistan.

President of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan agreed that enhancing and cementing cooperation between Iran’s Sistan Baluchestan Province and Pakistan’s Balochistan Province including opening of new border crossings and border markets would contribute towards improvement of the economic situation of local residents, and further constitutes a step towards resolving border challenges and insecurities.

Both sides agreed to hold the 2nd Round of High Border Commission in Islamabad in May 2019 to review the current status of preparations and further measures required for the earliest opening of new crossing points at Gabd-Reemdan and Mand-Pishin, besides opening of new border markets.

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