ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran have promised joint efforts to weed out sectarian terrorism and transnational crimes for establishing lasting peace in the region.
The pledge came on Thursday during a meeting of Pakistani security czar Nisar Ali Khan with top Iranian security official Admiral Ali Shamkhani, who is the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council. An interior ministry statement issued following the huddle said the two leaders reiterated strengthening the existing mechanisms for promoting cooperation to overcome mutual challenges of terrorism, cross-border and transnational crimes through greater intelligence sharing and forging close cooperation among the security agencies of both countries.
Nisar termed mutual trust an important part of efforts to cement the Islamabad-Tehran relationship. Pakistan and Iran need to have a candid and heart-to-heart discussion not only to iron out mutual issues and forging close cooperative mutual equation, but also to restore the true strength of their relationship that transcends the governmental level and permeates to the level of people, he said.
He added that a strong and strategic partnership between the two countries would yield positive results for regional peace, stability and socio-economic development.
Ali seconded Nisar’s view and appreciated Pakistan’s principled stance to opt for dialogue as the most effective tool for resolving issues among Muslim countries.
“The Iranian leadership and people want to strengthen their brotherly relations with Pakistan for the mutual interest of the two countries, as well as the region and the Ummah,” he said.
During a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the Iranian official said terrorism had no boundaries and was a common enemy of both the countries. Matters of mutual interest were discussed by the two dignitaries at the PM House. He said a stable Afghanistan is in the best interest of both Iran and Pakistan.
Premier Nawaz said Pakistan enjoyed brotherly relations with Iran and shared deep historic and cultural ties. He added that Chabahar and Gwadar ports should be “sister ports” with their operational activities complementing each other.
Admiral Ali said there was immense scope in enhancing economic and communication areas between the countries. He added that Pakistan and Iran shall establish a fibre-optic link between them.
The two sides also expressed grief over the tragic stampede of Mina in which hundreds of citizens of both countries were killed.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2015.