ISLAMABAD: Iran believes that peace in Afghanistan is a prerequisite for peace in the region, said Iranian Air Force Commander Brig Gen Hassan Shahsafi on Thursday.
Brig Gen Shahsafi led an Iranian delegation accompanied by Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost and called on National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua. They discussed options for further improving the bilateral relations and matters pertaining to regional security.
Discussing the prospects of peace and stability in Afghanistan, the commander said that Iran shared Pakistan’s views.
“For Pakistan, Iran is an important country as Iran is not only a neighbour but also a brotherly country from historic, cultural and religious perspectives,” said Mr Janjua, adding “we believe that Pakistan and Iran share a common future and need to enhance their cooperation”.
The Iranian commander reciprocated Mr Janjua’s sentiments and stressed the importance of identifying and removing all the impediments affecting bilateral relations.
The national security adviser elaborated on the challenges faced by both countries at regional and international levels. He said that the solution lay in a cooperative framework.
The Iranian commander also stressed the need for unity in the Muslim world which was lacking currently. Lt Gen Janjua acknowledged the concerns of the commander and highlighted the role of Pakistan in the region and in the Muslim world.
He reiterated that Pakistan had played a positive and balanced role in the region.
“Pakistan and Iran require deliberation and strategic patience to overcome the prevailing difficulties and to strengthen their bilateral relations and to move ahead together towards a brighter future,” he said.
Both countries agreed to increase engagements at all levels in multiple areas including politics, defence trade and economics.
Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2018