COAS in Iran on charm offensive

Published: November 5, 2017
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Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. PHOTO: ISPR / FILE

Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa. PHOTO: ISPR / FILE

The western border may be getting safer, as Pakistan and Iran agreed on improving controls in their border to deny terrorists any weak avenues to exploit.

The development came on Monday during meetings between army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Iran’s civil and military leadership in Tehran.

“The Pak-Iran border is one of peace and friendship,” Gen Qamar was cited by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Director General Maj-Gen Asif Ghafoor as saying.

Gen Qamar, who is on a three-day official visit to Iran, met with President Hassan Rowhani and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at the Presidential Palace.

The chief of army staff (COAS) also met Chief of General Staff (CGS) Maj-Gen Muhammad Bagheri at General Staff Headquarters, where he was presented with a guard of honour. The COAS also laid a floral wreath at Martyrs Monument.

 

“Pakistan and Iran are brotherly neighbors with shared history, culture and religion, Gen Qamar said, adding that both armies also have history of defence collaboration and cooperation which has great mutually benefiting potential for its enhancement.

The Iranian leadership thanked the army chief for his visit and acknowledged Pakistan’s sacrifices and achievements in the war against terror, contributions towards regional peace and the important positive role that Islamabad is playing in this regard.

During the meetings, Gen Qamar discussed issues related to the geostrategic environment, defence and security, and economic cooperation at bilateral as well as regional level.

The two neighbouring countries also exchanged views on Afghan situation, growing threat of Islamic State (IS), also known as Da’ish, in the region and Pak-Iran border security.

Diplomatic contacts: Iran agrees Afghan conflict has no military solution

The leaders of both sides agreed to stay engaged for enhanced bilateral cooperation while jointly working to assist in bringing positive developments in other issues concerning the region.

Earlier, Tehran gave its support for Pakistan’s diplomatic initiative seeking regional consensus on the Afghan endgame in the wake of the new US strategy announced by President Donald Trump.

The development came at the end of a visit by Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif to Iran’s capital, where he held formal talks with his Iranian counterpart Javad Zarif.

Asif, Foreign Secretary Tehmina Janjua, and National Security Adviser Lt Gen (retd) Nasser Khan Janjua also called on President Rowhani.

 

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