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Pakistani PM Iran visit strengthened bilateral ties: Pak analysts

Islamabad, Senior Pakistani analysts say Prime Minister Imran Khan's recent visit to Iran provided the opportunity to further strengthen bilateral ties.

Muhammad Asif Noor in his article published in 'Daily Times' said with the changing regional and international dimensions, Pakistan is opening its options to rebuild alliance and revive old friendships, like every other country in the international global system.

He said Prime Minister Imran Khan paid a historic visit to Tehran from 2122 April 2019 on the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani.

He stated after taking the office, the leadership in Islamabad is diversifying its regional and international engagements and options with reaching out to the neighboring countries for sustainable and peaceful relationships based on mutual confidence building measures.

The analyst said Pakistan's relations with Iran are based on strong religious affinities, historic, geographical and people to people contacts coupled with robust security, political, diplomatic and fraternal ties.

Asif Noor added apart from being part of the international and regional groupings for instance Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), both states support each other on issues of not only of mutual nature but also challenges faced by both states.

Being leaders of the Muslim world, Pakistan and Iran hold important influential strategic and political place which remained undeniable, said the expert.

He said one of the important confidence building measures between the two countries is moving ahead with the IranPakistan gas pipeline project.

The expert added during the visit, apart from the confidence building measures, there were also fruitful discussions over cooperation on security and connected challenges were also discussed.

Iran and Pakistan are not only close neighbors, but two major Muslim world countries, and their cooperation is useful to the Muslim Ummah in the overall development and cooperation, he said.

Another analyst Malik Muhammad Ashraf in his article published in daily 'the Nation' said the twoday visit to Iran by Prime Minister Imran Khan has surely produced very positive results.

The two countries have agreed to set up Joint Rapid Reaction Force to fight terrorism and guard the common border between the two countries and vowed not to allow their territories to be used for terrorist activities, he said.

He said in the context of bilateral relations, the two sides also resolved to enhance cooperation in a number of social and cultural domains besides expanding economic relations.

The analyst was of the view that it is in Pakistan's utmost interest to remain neutral in any conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Having cordial relations with both of them is imperative for Pakistan, he noted.

The expert said Iran is our immediate neighbor and has been a close ally and it can also help Pakistan in diluting the energy crisis by providing oil, electricity and gas through IP gas pipeline.

We also need cooperation of Iran in bringing peace and security to the region, particularly in resolving conflict in Afghanistan and elimination of scourge of terrorism for the collective benefit of the countries of the region, he viewed.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA