ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday visited Tehran for security talks with Iranian military leaders.
He opened his trip with a meeting with Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Maj Gen Mohammad Hossein Baqeri.
Military spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor tweeted that Gen Bajwa and Gen Baqeri during their meeting discussed “regional security environment, efforts for regional peace and stability and Pak-Iran Border Security Mechanism”.
Meanwhile, Iranian newswire IRNA reported that the two sides discussed the prospects of expansion of defence cooperation between the two countries. It further said that border security, counterterrorism cooperation, promoting border trade exchange and convergence among Muslim countries was also on the agenda of the talks.
Counterterrorism cooperation, promotion of trade and convergence among Muslim countries also reviewed
Border security has long remained a major cause of distrust in the Pakistan-Iran ties. However, steps taken by Pakistan since 2017 to improve security along the border have helped to improve the relationship.
Gen Bajwa had during his last visit to Tehran two years ago called the Pakistan-Iran border the “border of peace and friendship” and vowed closer cooperation with Tehran to ensure security in the region. Although a few border incidents happened even after Gen Bajwa’s November 2017 visit, the two sides were able to deal with them through better cooperation and Pakistan helped in recovering several abducted Iranian soldiers.
A source revealed that Gen Bajwa’s latest visit to Tehran was preceded by visits of Pakistani security delegations to Iran for preparing for the (army chief’s) trip.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has also visited Tehran twice this year. He last month attempted to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia. The effort was welcomed by Iran.
Gen Bajwa is expected to meet other Iranian political and security leaders during his visit.
Published in Dawn, November 19th, 2019