Publishe Date: 11:56 PM - 11/9/2017 | Print

Pak army chief’s visit to Iran signals desire for better ties: Daily

Politics - A Pakistani newspaper says the visit of Pakistan's Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Qamar Javed Bajwa to Iran signals strong intention of Pakistan to pursue better relations with Iran.

The Daily ‘The News’ in its editorial comments said the long visit also suggests that Pakistan wants to expand its military and defense cooperation with Iran.

The COAS met Iran’s top civil and military officials during his three-day visit and declared the Iran-Pakistan border to be a 'border of peace'.

“After the border tensions between Pakistan and Iran, progress had been slow in terms of developing mutual trust again. Iran has been protesting what it sees as cross-border attacks from Pakistani soil, the last of which occurred in July,” The News said.

It added the visit of General Qamar Javed Bajwa to Iran this week seemed to be an attempt to ease some of these tensions and it seems to have been successful in that.

“One of the key agreements reached was a pledge to restrict the ease with which militant groups can cross the borders,” it said.

The newspaper opined that Pakistan’s need to develop strong relationships with its neighbors is obvious.

“Out of neighbors, it is Iran that has retained the strongest relationship with Pakistan. It is good to note that this friendship is receiving the requisite attention from our side,” it said.

The paper was of the view this is the first visit to Iran by a Pakistani army chief in over two decades, which is a symbolic marker and sets out the priorities of our state.

“The situation in Afghanistan remains a key concern for both countries,” the editorial noted.

The paper added that Iran is likely to have also brought up the issue of the long-standing Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline as well as offered to sell electricity to ease Pakistan’s power crisis.

“Recent reports indicated that sanctions on Iran would mean Pakistan could not go ahead – but there might be more progress on this in the coming future,” it added.

The News said the visit of Army Chief encouragingly signals a strong intention on the part of the Pakistani state to pursue better relations with Iran.

 

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