Pakistan, Iran agree to cooperate against IS


Pakistan and Iran have agreed to enhance cooperation in politics, trade, economy, and security at the ninth round of political consultation in Tehran.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry led the Pakistani delegation, whereas the Iranian side was headed by Deputy Foreign Minister for Asia and Pacific, Ebrahim Rahimpour.

To forge close counter-terrorism cooperation to deal with the militant Islamic State (IS) group and other security threats was also a prominent topic of discussion.

“It was agreed that close cooperation was needed in countering extremism and terrorism, especially the threat” posed by organisations such as the IS, a statement issued by the Foreign Office after the political consultations, said.

According to the Foreign Office statement, the two sides also reviewed the regional situation as well as opportunities offered by enhanced connectivity for transit trade.

Two sides also discussed Pakistani concerns about the Chabahar port not only for being a rival to Gwadar but also from the perspective of Indian involvement and prospects of cooperation between the two ports.

Security circles see Indian involvement in Chabahar and the upcoming trade route linking the port to Afghanistan as a security threat. Iran has, however, been insisting that the two ports complement each other.

Mr Chaudhry apprised his Iranian counterpart of the latest situation in India-held Kashmir.

The foreign secretary also met Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.

This was the second senior-level engagement between the two countries in a fortnight. National Security Adviser retired Lt Gen Nasser Khan Janjua visited Iran for a meeting with his counterpart in the last week of July, during which both sides emphasised the importance of addressing security issues, particularly problems with border security.

Political consultations are a regular feature of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran. The last round of these consultations took place in Islamabad in October 2014.