In meeting, Pakistan Army chief and Iranian counterpart discussion regional security, including the prevailing situation in Afghanistan
As two brotherly countries, close cooperation between Pakistan and Iran is vital for regional peace and stability, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa told Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri, the chief of General Staff of Iran’s armed forces, on Wednesday.
According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, the Inter-Services Public Relations, the two military leaders met at General Headquarters in Rawalpindi and agreed to further enhance defense cooperation and work together for regional peace. The two officials also pledged a unified response to terrorism, describing it as a “common” enemy.
Following their one-on-one talks, delegation-level talks were initiated. The ISPR said that the Iranian delegation had been given a comprehensive regional security appraisal and operational update, in addition to a briefing on the training regime of the Pakistan Army, including collaboration with friendly countries and conduct of various joint military exercises.
Gen. Bagheri, it said, had expressed a desire for further strengthening military to military ties, particularly in the counter terrorism and training domains.
Also on Wednesday, Bagheri met Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen. Nadeem Raza and Prime Minister Imran Khan in separate meetings. During their meeting at the Joint Staff Headquarters, Bagheri and Raza stressed that common borders between any two states should be ‘Borders of Peace and Friendship, said the ISPR.
The two military officials also discussed bilateral defense and security cooperation, counter-terrorism efforts and the regional environment, particularly in the context of Afghanistan. “They dilated upon measures to enhance the level and scope of military engagements between both countries and pledged to continue to forge deeper ties,” read the ISPR statement. It said Raza had hailed Bagheri’s visit as the start of “a new stage in strengthening the military, defense and security relations between the two brotherly countries.”
During his meeting with Bagheri, Prime Minister Imran Khan discussed the importance of regional stability. A statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office said that Khan had described the Pakistan-Iran border as a border of peace and friendship. It said that the premier had also underlined the importance of steps taken for enhanced security on both sides of the shared border, and briefed the visiting dignitary on Pakistan’s perspective regarding the Afghanistan situation.
Stressing that as its direct neighbors, Pakistan and Iran had personal stakes in a peaceful and stable Afghanistan, Khan emphasized that the international community must remain positively engaged with the Taliban to be able to provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance and prevent an economic collapse. In this regard, he said Afghanistan’s financial assets should be unfrozen. He said Pakistan and Iran should continue their close coordination, especially through the platform of six neighboring countries of Afghanistan established last month.
The statement noted that Khan had highlighted the upward trajectory in bilateral engagement between Pakistan and Iran and reiterated his invitation for Iranian President Raisi to visit Pakistan.
The prime minister also appreciated Iran’s steadfast support on the Jammu and Kashmir dispute, especially by the Supreme Leader, adding that Kashmiris looked forward to Iran’s strong voice in support of their just cause.