Strengthening relations with Iran

THE western border may be getting safer, as Pakistan and Iran have agreed on improving controls in their border areas to deny terrorists any weak avenue to exploit. The development came on Monday during meetings between Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and Iran’s civil-military leadership in Tehran.
Pakistan and Iran share a 917 kilometre long porous border and cross-border attacks have long been a serious irritant in relations between the two countries which otherwise are deep-rooted in history, culture and religion. These cross border attacks by militants have often flared up tensions between the two countries but now we expect that the visit of the Army Chief to Iran will go a long way in addressing mistrust and make joint efforts towards addressing the common challenges posed by miscreants including drug smugglers, human traffickers and criminal networks. Earlier this year, both the countries had also made a border commission functional, the purpose of which was to wage joint efforts to check the movement of undesirable elements on both sides of the border. Indeed this is the right approach to turn the border between the two countries into a one that of genuine peace, friendship and foil the attempts of those enemies who do not want warmth and close relations between the two immediate neighbours. Given the close proximity and geo-strategic locations, both the countries can benefit a great deal by enhancing relations in different fields especially in the realm of trade and economy. We understand both the countries are already working to start negotiations on the signing of Free Trade Agreement- the early realisation of which will definitely help exploit their true potential. Then, there is also need to enhance people-to-people contacts and promote exchanges at different levels which will help not only further identify areas of cooperation but also promote greater understanding between the two sides on important matters.

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