The top military commanders of Pakistan and Iran on Monday decided to strengthen defence and military-to-military cooperation between the two neighbours, a decision appears to be necessitated by the current regional environment.
The understanding was reached during formal talks between Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Chief of General Staff Iranian Armed Forces Major General Dr Mohammad Bagheri here at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi.
The top Iranian commander, who is leading a high-powered delegation, also met Foreign Minister Hussain Haroon at the foreign office.
“Visiting dignitary pledged to keep working for better relations between the two brotherly countries and also condemned recent terrorist attacks in Pakistan,” the ISPR further said.
“Bagheri described Pakistan as one of the most important neighbours of the Islamic Republic of Iran and said that the country with a population of more than 200 million is interested to have strong ties with Iran,” according to IRNA. ‘Iran also attaches great importance to its relations with Pakistan,” he added.
He strongly condemned the recent terrorist attacks including the one in Mastung that left at least 150 people dead including Sirja Raisani.
Defence and military cooperation between Pakistan and Iran have seen considerable improvement in recent months apparently because of the current regional developments.
The bilateral relations have continued to strengthen with regular exchange of visits at various levels during the past few years. He added that Pakistan was desirous to further strengthen cooperation with Iran in areas of mutual interest for the benefit of two countries and to ensure peace and stability in the region.
The foreign minister appreciated the Iranian leadership’s strong and consistent support on the issue of Kashmir.
During the meeting, it was noted that both countries have made useful progress in areas of trade, connectivity, cultural relations and enhancing people-to-people contacts. There was a considerable scope to enhance these relations further.
The foreign minister also briefed Major General Mohammad Bagheri on the upcoming general elections in Pakistan, expressing the desire of the government to hold free, fair and transparent elections. The two sides also discussed issues related to peace and stability in Afghanistan and other matters of mutual interest in the region.
He expressed the confidence that the upcoming elections would usher Pakistan to an era of continued growth under strong leadership. He also thanked Pakistan for its principled stance on JCPOA.