Jun 22, 2021, 4:06 PM
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Pak MP: Strong relations with Iran top priority of Pakistan

Islamabad, June 22, IRNA -- Newly appointed Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Defence has called for deepening cultural, parliamentary, economic and security relations with Iran adding that strong ties with the Islamic Republic is a top priority in Pakistan’s foreign policy.

In an interview with IRNA Senator Mushahid Hussain Syed said despite the change of governments in Pakistan whether they were military or civilian strong relationship with Iran has always remained the main focus in our foreign policy.

He said Pakistan has been consistent in supporting Iran, its sovereignty and territorial integrity, noting that we have made sure that we will never allow our territory to be used against Iran to destabilize the country.

“So we would like the relationship close and this has been consistent with the past governments and this is the case with the present government also,” said the lawmaker.

To a question the Senator said a very important component of the relationship is parliamentary diplomacy when I was chairing the committee on defense and national security; I invited my counterpart from Iran Mr. Alaeddin Boroujerdi to lead a delegation and he invited me to visit Iran.

“Speaker of Iran comes here, our Chairman Senate goes there, so parliamentary diplomacy is number one in the bilateral relationship,” noted the politician.

He added second thing is the cultural ties, Iqbal Lahori is a common heritage of Iran and Pakistan and 70 percent of the poetry of Iqbal is in the Persian language.

“I signed the first MoU as Minister for Culture with my counterpart in Iran in 1998. Minister of Islamic Guidance came to Pakistan to sign that and I also visited Iran. So that should be reinforced,” Mushahid Hussain Syed said.

He went on to say the third is the economic interaction. “Those areas which are not covered by sanctions should be explored. Now we have established border markets with Iran, those markets should be activated,” said the MP.

He said also there should be political convergence at the diplomatic level because Pakistan and Iran also agree that there should not be any sanctions, there should not be any interference and both also support the cause of Kashmir, the cause of Palestine. We are grateful to Iran for its support of Kashmir.

The Senator added lastly there should be security cooperation and counter-terrorism cooperation between Iran and Pakistan on each others’ borders to ensure that neither Pakistan’s territory is used against Iran by non-state actors neither Iranian territory is used against Pakistan by non-state actors.

Pak MP: Strong relations with Iran top priority of Pakistan

Mushahid Hussain Syed replying to another question said, of course, we feel strongly that double standards against Iran are not acceptable, they should not be there we reject all these double standards because the Zionist regime is committing human rights violations but it is exempted from all these sanctions but countries like Iran are subject to sanctions on political grounds and people are suffering, humanity is suffering especially in Covid-19 such sanctions have no place.

To yet another question he said I feel that in the current situation, the Zionist regime has lost morally, politically, legally, and also in terms of its image in the eleven-day war or aggression against the people of Palestine.

“One result of the war is that after twelve years of being in the power Benjamin Netanyahu has been removed from the power. So I think it is the moral victory for the Palestinians’ resistance,” added Mushahid Hussain Syed.

He said: We salute the Palestinian resistance whether it is based in Al-Quds or whether it is based in Gaza for their strong stand against oppression of the Zionist regime. Pakistan is among those countries which are very clear in raising their voice, we reject recognition of Israel.

The politician added: We are glad that in the OIC there had been cooperation among Pakistan, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Indonesia to end the sufferings of Palestinian people and we are consistent in our position.

The Senator said talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia for normalization of ties is a step forward and both sides have issued very positive statements in this regard.

“I feel if there is normalization between Iran and Saudi Arabia in which Pakistan is very keen to play a role and support the process, it will contribute a lot to the peace, security, and stability in Yemen especially ending the war there,” said the MP.

He strongly believed Yemen like Afghanistan needs peace, people are poor and have suffered because not just of war but because of Covid.

Pak MP: Strong relations with Iran top priority of Pakistan

Mushahid Hussain Syed replying to a question said we welcome Iran-China strategic cooperation because both are friends of Pakistan and they are neighbors of Pakistan and we feel that this cooperation is good for regional connectivity which Pakistan is promoting because we are shifting from geo-politics to geo-economics and this is based on the connectivity of South Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, China, Central Asian Republics.

“Secondly Iran borders Pakistan’s Balochistan province where there is Gwadar port and which is the centerpiece of CPEC, so we feel that the security of the CPEC will be secured with the Iran-China agreement,” he added.

The lawmaker said Chinese investments in Iran and Pakistan will not only bring China, Iran together but will bring Pakistan, Iran together, and Pakistan China together.

Mushahid Hussain Syed said the situation in Afghanistan has affected both Iran and Pakistan because for the last forty years we are hosting five million Afghan refugees and we are neighbors, we support a regional solution that includes all the neighbors of Afghanistan and of course Russia has a role to play and the US also.

“Because the US has troops over there and the US has lost the war in Afghanistan and they are going out of Afghanistan as a defeated party, which shows that the use of force has been counterproductive,” he said.

The MP went on to say the time has come to promote national reconciliation in Afghanistan through a peace process where we ensure that Afghan territory is not used to destabilize any country or terrorism against any country and neither there should be foreign interference in Afghanistan.

“Hopefully the region will determine the density of Afghanistan,” the politician viewed.

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