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Pak-Iran soil not be used by third party against any neighbouring countries

08 November, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Tuesday decided to ensure that their soil will not be used by any ‘third party’ against any of the two neighbouring countries as both agreed to enhance bilateral security cooperation and intelligence sharing following a meeting between Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Iran’s Defence Minister Brigadier Amir Hatami, the military’s media wing said.

The two leaders agreed over establishment of hotline communication between the field commanders along Pak-Iran border, fencing by Iran on their side of the border, coordinated border patrolling, intelligence sharing and more frequent interactions between the two countries.

“In this regard, various steps will be taken which include establishing a communication hotline between the field commanders, fencing by Iran on their side of the border, coordinated border patrolling, intelligence sharing and more frequent interactions [between the forces of the two countries],” according to the ISPR.

The Iranian defence minister thanked Gen Bajwa for his trip as he acknowledged achievements of Pakistan Army in war against terrorism and expressed his country’s willingness to enhance defence cooperation, said the ISPR statement.

“Our policy is to develop relations with our neighbours and Pakistan has a special place in the Iranian foreign policy,” he maintained.

The COAS highlighted that with improved special measures by Islamabad on Pak-Afghan border, terrorists were likely to exploit Pak-Iran friendly border and both countries need to put in efforts to deny its use by them. “Pak-Iran border is a border of peace and friendship, its exploitation by terrorists will not be allowed,” the army chief was quoted as saying.

During the second day of his three-day visit to the neighbouring country, the army chief also visited Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) headquarters where he interacted with the senior leadership.

Later, DG ISPR Major General Asif Ghafoor and Iranian Army General Staff Officer addressed a joint press conference. Maj Gen Ghafoor briefed Iranian media about Pakistan’s efforts, achievements and sacrifices in war against terror and towards the regional peace.

He said Pakistan wished peace in Afghanistan and supported all initiatives towards that end. “We have done everything on Pakistan side of the border. There are no terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan,” he said.

The ISPR chief said ISIS was growing in Afghanistan which was a threat to the entire region. A regional approach was required to defeat this threat, he opined.

He said since Pakistan had taken effective measures on Pak-Afghan border, terrorists were likely to exploit friendly Pak-Iran border.

The DG ISPR reiterated that Pakistan’s soil will not be used against any country including Iran. “Our relations with Iran are not at the cost of our relations with any other country. We greatly value our relations with Iran which have a positive history bonded by culture and religion,” he said.

The ISPR chief said Pakistan Army was capable of thwarting any threat with the support of Pakistani nation. “In Pakistan, we say that prerogative of declaring Jihad rests only with state and armed forces are a state instrument for its application against anti-state elements,” he added.

The ISPR DG thanked Iranian supreme leader for his supportive statement on Kashmir. “Kashmir is a long pending dispute between India and Pakistan. Regional peace and security remains at stake unless it’s resolved to the aspiration of the Kashmiri people in line with the UN resolutions,” he said.

He also thanked the Iranian military and the government for the hospitality extended during their visit.

The Iranian side also reiterated that their soil will not be used against Pakistan. It acknowledged successful visit and very practical suggestions made by Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during the exchanges.

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