Aug 19, 2020, 2:50 PM
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Pakistan PM Imran’s two-year performance: Significant progress in ties with Iran

Islamabad, Aug 19, IRNA -- The government of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has completed two years of power with special focus on ties with neighboring states especially with the Islamic Republic of Iran.  

The government has published a detailed report on its two-year performance, outlining the results of Pakistan's efforts in domestic and foreign policy, economic challenges and other areas.

The report termed the strengthening of relations with Iran as its one of the major foreign policy achievements.

**An overview of Imran Khan’s government

Imran Khan, the former captain of the Pakistan National Cricket Team, sworn in as the 22nd Prime Minister of Pakistan on 27 August 2018. The 69-year-old Khan has repeatedly said that he wanted to establish a welfare state in Pakistan like Medina, set-up by the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH).

On May 25, 1996, he announced the formation of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) political party. According to him, he entered the world of politics with only a few people and has been active in socio-political activities for the past 24 years.

Now, two years after the formation of the current government of Pakistan, Imran Khan announces the country's economic prosperity, despite several difficult months due to the outbreak of the Coronavirus.

Pakistan's Ministry of Information has released a 204-page report on Imran Khan's two-year record, addressing issues related to the country's efforts to strengthen ties with its neighbors, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran, and to strengthen Pakistan's foreign policy and to expand engagement with the international community.

**Strengthening security of joint border with Iran

The report says Pakistan has started fencing of border with Iran to curtail cross border movement of terrorist elements and to enhance national security for peace and stability of the region.

It said that 89 Km out of 909 Km fencing work of Pak– Iran Border has been completed.

The Pakistani government described the current level of relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran as excellent, and Prime Minister Imran Khan, in an interview with Dunya News last night also praised the developments in Tehran despite sanctions.

He noted that Tehran has become a modern city and is generating revenue of US $ 500 million.

The report further stated Pakistan became sixtieth member of Transports Internationaux Routiers in April, 2018-Rules and Procedures for TIR notified.

Successful pilot TIR operations conducted with Iran (Inbound in July, 2018) and Afghanistan (Outbound in October, 2018). WeBOC integrated with TIR IT tools is being further configured to handle multi-model TIR operations.

“Triangular Initiative: Senior Officials meeting on Counter – Narcotics Cooperation between Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan held in December, 2018 in Islamabad,” it said.

**Imran Khan’s government initiative to de-escalate tensions in the region

The report recalling Pakistan’s efforts over the past two years to strengthen ties with international and regional allies to maintain a balance of power in the region, said it is gratifying that the world has come around to Pakistan’s point of view on Afghanistan and sees a negotiated political settlement as the way forward.

It said as part of a shared responsibility, Pakistan has played its role in facilitating the U.S.-Taliban Peace Agreement. Despite impediments, the agreement remains a watershed as the first blueprint in nineteen years, paving the way for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned intra-Afghan negotiation process.

“Simultaneously, as part of its regional approach, Pakistan has continuously conferred with regional partners, with Foreign Minister Qureshi undertaking several visits to key regional capitals,” said the report.

It added Imran Khan's government has endeavoured to bridge differences, promote dialogue and reduce the prospect of conflict in Middle East.

“We declared unequivocally, that Pakistan will not be part of any new war; we will not allow our soil to be used against any third country, and that Pakistan will only be a partner for peace,” said the report.

**Formulating policy to facilitate travel of Pakistani pilgrims to Iran

The Ministry of Religious Affairs of Pakistan, referring to its performance in the report said in the past two years, formulation of policy to facilitate pilgrimages to the Islamic Republic of Iran is in the final stages.

The ministry said that addressing the problems faced by Pakistani pilgrims traveling to Iran, Iraq and Syria is on the agenda of Imran Khan's government and a new policy will be finalized and announced soon.

The Islamic Republic of Iran and Pakistan in the past two years have witnessed numerous trips of high-ranking officials of the two sides in order to further deepen joint cooperation in various fields, including political, security, economy and culture.

Prime Minister Imran Khan's while paying two official visits to Tehran, also met with the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York.  

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif visited Pakistan three times in last two years while Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also visited Iran two times.

Pakistan Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa also paid an official to Iran. The exchange of high level visits from both sides show the vast canvas of Iran-Pakistan ties.

272**1424

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