Pakistan sees bright future of ties with Iran: Khurram Dastgir

Tehran, May 31: Pakistan’ Minister for Foreign Affairs says that future of cooperation between Iran and Pakistan is very bright, Iranian state-run media reported on Thursday.
Talking to IRNA exclusively at the foreign ministry, Khurram Dastgir Khan said that Iran and Pakistan have always enjoyed strong and brotherly ties.

‘We had excellent and very positive interaction with Iran and we are now communicating much more frequently with each other,’ the minister said.

“Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Tehran in May 2014 and we had two visits by His Excellency President Rouhani to Pakistan in the space of 12 months, so there have been high level visits,” he noted.

He said: We are communicating much better than before and expect that this relationship which still has to be rally raised will grow further.

The minster added that Pakistan last year had also signed a banking cooperation agreement to improve trading relations with Iran.

He said in line with this policy, Pakistan entered into strategic partnership with China and launched the historic project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

He said the country was facing enormous internal as well as foreign policy challenges but these were successfully tackled. He said Pakistan defeated terrorism on its soil.

The minister added that during the five years of the government Pakistan became full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Origination which is a big achievement.

He added that Pakistan’s relations with Russia are improving due to the government’s effective foreign policy.
The official said: First under former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and later under Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, we endeavored to forge closer and better relations with countries in our neighborhood, and the world at large.

“Our aim was to promote economic connectivity, strengthen partnerships, expand Pakistan’s diplomatic space, and raise our international profile,” he said.

The minister went on to say that Pakistan successfully hosted after a gap of nearly twenty-two years, the Thirteenth ECO Summit in Islamabad in March 2017 and assumed Chairmanship of ECO for the ensuing year.

He said continued engagement with our traditional partners and allies in the Middle East have strengthened our relationship.

“Rising tensions and insecurities in that region necessitated undertaking delicate balancing measures, while remaining true to our strong conviction the solidarity of the Ummah, and our abiding commitment to the security of our partners,” he noted.

He said: Today, our relations with Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Iran, among others, remain robust and continue to evolve.

Khurram Dastgir Khan added that new US policy on Afghanistan and South Asia has created an unnecessary divergence, which is based largely on perceptions rather than facts.

“Pakistan maintains that the ultimate goal of a safe and secure Afghanistan should take priority over any differences regarding ways and manner to achieve the end-state,” he said.

Replying to a question he added the United States constantly pressurizes Pakistan in order to hide its defeat in Afghanistan.

‘Relations with the US are important and we wish to continue talks with them,’ the foreign minister asserted.

Although, our American partners acknowledge the sacrifices of the armed forces and the nation but they do not appreciate the operations,’ he continued.

‘They haven’t acknowledged how much Pakistan has done to free itself of terrorism,’ he regretted.

Shifting focus to relations with India, Dastgir said, ‘We tried to improve relations with India but did not receive a positive response from them.’

Regarding relations with India in the future, the foreign minister said, ‘When a new government is sworn in they will decide on how to take forward relations with India depending on their mandate.’ (TNS)

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