Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa met Iranian Defence Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and visited Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) headquarters where he interacted with their senior leadership during the second day of the visit.
The COAS highlighted that with improved special measures by the country on Pak-Afghan border, terrorists are likely to exploit Pak-Iran friendly border for which both countries need to put efforts to prevent its use by them.
Both sides agreed to prevent their soil from being used by any third party against any of the two countries. In this regard, steps—including 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—were agreed to.
Iranian defence minister thanked COAS for his visit and acknowledged achievements of Pakistan Army in war against terrorism, and expressed his country’s willingness to enhance defence cooperation. He said that Iran’s policy is to develop relations with its neighbours, adding that Pakistan has a special place in Iranian foreign policy.
Iran sees Pakistan’s security as its own and supports Pakistan’s defence and military achievements “within the framework of strengthening regional security and stability,” Amir Hatami said. He added, “Respect for territorial integrity, solidarity and national sovereignty of the regional countries is among the fixed principles of the Iranian foreign policies.”
Speaking with regards to regional and international developments, the Iranian defence minister said that Gen Bajwa’s visit to Iran will reinforce bilateral relations in the areas of security and stability. Hatami added that relations between Pakistan and Iran “are in line with strengthening defence capabilities of both the neighbouring countries”.
The Iranian minister placed a lot of emphasis on furthering ties between Pakistan and Iran, stating that both countries share a common religion and culture. He expressed hope that cooperation between the two countries will lead to the establishment of peace in war-ravaged Afghanistan.
Gen Bajwa, who is on an official three-day visit to Iran, was welcomed by top Iranian military officials, including Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, on Monday.
According to the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), Gen Bajwa held delegation-level talks with his Iranian counterparts and also held a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
The discussions were on a variety of issues, including the geo-strategic environment, Afghan situation, growing threat of IS in the region and security along the shared border between the two countries.
During the meetings, Gen Bajwa said that Iran and Pakistan are two brotherly neighbours with shared history, culture and religion.
The Iranian visit by the army chief was preceded by a visit by Iran’s Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost to the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army.
ISPR DG apprises Iranian media of Pak efforts, sacrifices in war on terror
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Major General Asif Ghafoor apprised Iranian media about Pakistan’s efforts, achievements and sacrifices in the war against terror and towards regional peace.
According to Iranian media, addressing a joint press conference with the Iranian Army Gen Staff Officer in Tehran on Tuesday, he said that Pakistan wishes peace in Afghanistan and supports all initiatives towards this end. He added, “We have done everything on the Pakistani side of the border. There are no terrorist sanctuaries inside Pakistan.”
He said ISIS is growing in Afghanistan as a threat to the region. He added that a regional approach is required to defeat the threat.
Major General Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistan has taken effective measures on Pak-Afghan border and reiterated that Pakistan’s soil would not be used against any country including Iran.
He also thanked Iranian supreme leader for his supportive statement on Kashmir, adding Kashmir is a long pending dispute between Pakistan and India. He added that regional peace and security remains at stake till its settlement according to the aspirations of Kashmiri people in line with the UN resolutions.
The ISPR DG said, “We greatly value our relations with Iran which have a positive history bonded by history, culture and religion.” He also thanked Iranian military and government for the hospitality extended by Iran during the visit on behalf of the COAS.
At the end of the press conference, Asif Ghafoor said that Pakistani delegation leaves Iran with positive feelings and strengthening relations.