Aug 2, 2022, 11:48 AM
Journalist ID: 1844
News Code: 84841772
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Pakistani Minister: Tehran, Islamabad against foreign intervention in region

Tehran, IRNA -- Tehran and Islamabad support regional solutions for regional challenges and oppose the presence of foreign powers in the region, the Pakistani defense minister said in an interview with IRNA.

There is an immense possibility for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan, which are neighbors and have thousands of years of common history, Khawaja Muhammad Asif added.

"During my last tenure as minister for defense, and water and power, we explored the possibility of improving our relationship both in energy and defense sector," said the Pakistani official, adding that the relationship between Iran and Pakistan is very good and Iranains "are very dear to us.”

I visited Iran in 2017, it was a very good visit; I felt like home in Iran. I went to Mashhad also for pilgrimage, but there is a lot of room for improvement in relationships, almost in all sectors including defense, Muhammad Asif said.

Asif noted that there is a lot of formal trade going on the border between Iran and Pakistan, which has a substantial level; and now after fencing, three points have been identified so that the border trade cannot be affected.

“The trade between the two countries will be enhanced in the future," he vowed.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he termed terrorism a common concern for Iran, Pakistan, and the region.

He also pointed to Iran and Pakistan's cooperation in solving the crisis in Afghanistan.

Islamabad has no restrictions on expanding bilateral cooperation with Iran, and we predict that trade between the two countries will increase in the future, Muhammad Asif said.

He lauded grounds for cooperation with Iran in the defense sector, saying, "We are fully aware of Iran’s achievements in the defense sector."

He said there should be a balance in the US policy towards the Middle East; their policy is tilted towards the Zionist regime that is the main reason that the issue of Palestine get more and more complicated each day.

Asif said Pakistan has no pressure to recognize Israel and that is something on which we have national consensus. The relationship with or recognition of Israel will not happen. “This is something which is very emotional for Pakistani people,” said the minister.

To a question, the minister said that our regional neighbors like Iran, China, Turkey, and Central Asian states should come together to find a solution to the regional problems within.

“There are economic powers in the region like China and Russia, while Iran has rich energy sources and though we don’t have good ties with India due to the Kashmir dispute, their presence cannot be denied,” he noted.

He added that terrorism and drug trafficking from Afghanistan are two main important issues for Iran and Pakistan.

Regarding the formation of government in Afghanistan, he said, "it is an internal matter."

“They are in the transition phase, but I am confident and hopeful that they will pass this phase and form an inclusive government,” said the minister.

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