ISLAMABAD, Oct 23: Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali said here on Thursday the “chill” in Pakistan-Iran relations, if there was any, had disappeared, and now it had been agreed that a summit at the highest level would be held at least once a year to enhance bilateral understanding.

Addressing a press conference at the airport on his return from a three-day visit to Iran, the prime minister described the visit as a great success as he could meet the entire top leadership of Iran.

He said it had also been agreed that none of the two countries would indulge in propaganda warfare against each other in future and “do their utmost to stop all such attempts which may vitiate the atmosphere”.

Mr Jamali said his visit would prove to be a milestone in the economic relations between the two neighbouring countries.

Since India was dragging its feet on the gas pipeline project, Iran offered Islamabad to sell gas to Pakistan without waiting for India to make up its mind about the project, he further said, pointing out that Pakistan readily accepted the offer and technical details would be sorted out by the officials.

The prime minister said Pakistan and Iran had decided to open up their borders at Punjgur and Sardan to increase people-to-people contact.

Pakistan and Iran, he went on to say, were not competitors in Afghanistan but partners in rebuilding that war-ravaged country. Both the countries supported Karazai government, he added.

To a question about Taliban, the prime minister ruled out the possibility of the return of Taliban in Afghanistan.

He said both Iran and Pakistan were concerned at the sectarian violence and shared the view that killing each other in the name of Islam was no jihad.

Asked how Iran viewed the “enlightened moderation” President Gen Pervez Musharraf forcefully spelt out before the recent OIC summit, Mr Jamali said it was well taken by Tehran. Iran, he added, appreciated President Musharraf’s stance at the OIC conference.

He further said that Iran’s position on Kashmir remained unchanged, and there was no difference of perception on the Kashmir issue. President Sayed Mohammed Khatami was grieved over the atrocities being committed in the occupied Kashmir, the prime minister added.

Asked if Iran was ready to use its influence to make India enter into talks with Pakistan, he said the first result had come, ostensibly referring to the latest Indian proposals for normalising ties.

He said the subject of Indian-Israeli cooperation also came under discussion.

JOINT COMMUNIQUE: A Joint Communique issued at the end of the visit said that the two countries had decided to conclude a Preferential Trade Agreement to facilitate bilateral trade, APP adds.

It was agreed that Iran will provide electricity to the Pakistan cities, towns and villages closed to Iranian border like Chaghai and Dalbadin districts in Balochistan.

It was also decided that Pakistan Foreign Secretary and the Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister would soon meet to identify and further strengthen their economic cooperation.

The two countries have set up a Joint Working Committee comprising experts from energy sector and it will soon start functioning to finalize arrangements for construction of a gas pipeline to the Pakistan-Iranian border and its possible extension to the Pakistan territory.

There was also an understanding for exchange of economicand technical experts and delegations to intensify the economic cooperation. Pakistan and Iran also agreed to finalize arrangements for movement across the Pakistan-Iran border at Panjgur and Saravan in Balochistan province.

The two countries agreed for full and proper implementation of bilateral agreements and decisions of the Joint Economic Commission.

During the talks there was a general understanding for enhanced cooperation in all areas, including political, security, economic, commercial, cultural, information, scientific and technological fields.

The two countries also emphasised on the importance of a dialogue among civilizations and the promotion of enlightened moderation for constructive interaction between the Muslim world. They also called for settlement of disputes by peaceful means on the basis of sovereign equality and non- interference in internal affairs of other states.

They also stressed the need for promotion of peace, tolerance and pluralism among civilizations and nations.

Both sides called for an early resumption of unconditional dialogue between Pakistan and India for resolution of the Kashmir dispute by peaceful means in accordance with the wishes of the Kashmiri people.


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