October 14, 2021: Prime Minister Imran Khan received Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Chief of General Staff of the Armed Forces of Iran, yesterday. The Prime Minister welcomed the visiting dignitary and highlighted an upward trajectory in bilateral engagement between Pakistan and Iran.
The Prime Minister recalled meeting President Raisi in Dushanbe on the margins of the SCO Summit, which had imparted further impetus to bilateral cooperation. The Prime Minister underscored Pakistan’s commitment to enhance closer bilateral trade relations as well as enhanced economic and energy cooperation.
He described the Pakistan-Iran border as a border of ‘peace and friendship’, and underlined the importance of steps taken for enhanced security on both sides. He also noted agreement on the establishment of Border Sustenance Markets and stressed that the operationalization of these markets would facilitate livelihood in the region.
The opening of two additional border crossing points in the last year had further facilitated regulated movement on both sides. Prime Minister Imran Khan 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. The Prime Minister shared Pakistan’s perspective on the latest developments in Afghanistan, stressing that as the neighbors of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran had a direct stake in peace and stability in the country.
Pakistan wished to see a peaceful and stable Afghanistan with a sustainable economy and promoting connectivity. The Prime Minister underscored that the international community must remain positively engaged, provide urgently needed humanitarian assistance, and take steps to prevent economic collapse. He also stressed the need for unfreezing Afghanistan’s financial assets to help support the Afghan people at this critical juncture, especially before the onset of the winter.
Prime Minister Imran Khan underscored the importance of national reconciliation and inclusive political settlement. He also emphasized continued close coordination between Pakistan and Iran, including through the platform of six neighboring countries of Afghanistan established last month. Prime Minister Imran Khan conveyed cordial greetings for President Raisi and renewed his invitation for him to visit Pakistan.