Pakistan, Iran agree to set up 'joint Rapid Reaction Force' for border security

Pakistan, Iran agree to set up 'joint Rapid Reaction Force' for border security

Tehran (Agencies): Pakistan and Iran have agreed to set up a Joint Rapid Reaction Force for the security of the common borders.

The understanding came at a meeting between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Prime Minister Imran Khan in Tehran on Monday.

Addressing a joint press conference after the meeting, the Iranian President said that the two countries unfortunately  witnessed some tensions in the border areas in the recent past where the terrorists perpetrated their nefarious acts.

He said both the sides during talks reaffirmed their commitment to peace and security in the entire region.

“We also emphasised that no third country can harm the brotherly and close relations between the two countries”, the Iranian president said.

Hassan Rouhani said both the countries have also agreed to bolster their trade and economic relations and we have agreed to set up a barter committee so that goods and other items could be exchanged.

“We are also interested in establishing links between Gwadar and Chahbhar ports in order to strengthen our commerce relations”, the Iranian president said.

President Rouhani said Iran is ready to meet the oil and gas requirements of Pakistan. He said we have already taken the measures to construct the gas pipeline to Pakistani border.

“Iran is also ready to increase the exports of electricity to Pakistan”, he added.

Meanwhile, Pakistan and Iran also signed a memorandum of understanding for cooperation in the health sector.

Addressing the news conference, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the two countries have decided to enhance cooperation in counter-terrorism to ensure that no country's land is used against each other.

Referring to the recent terrorist incident in Balochistan, which claimed lives of fourteen security personnel, PM Imran said incidents of terrorism affect relations between the two countries.

“The entire political leadership in Pakistan has pledged that no militant group will be allowed to operate from Pakistan and the soil of Pakistan will not be permitted to be used against any other country”, PM Khan asserted.

Imran Khan said that the two sides also decided to cooperate for helping in peaceful settlement of the Afghan conflict.

Referring to the ongoing peace talks in Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran said peace in the war-torn country was in the interests of both Pakistan and Iran.

"We will cooperate with each other in helping bring a political settlement in Afghanistan," he said.

Referring to the Indian atrocities in Occupied Kashmir, Prime Minister Imran Khan said there is no military solution to the lingering dispute but it can only be resolved through political settlement.

“The settlement of the dispute will help take forward the entire subcontinent and improve economic and trade linkages in the region", he said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also held talks at the presidential palace in Tehran.

During the meeting, the two leaders discussed bilateral relations, regional issues and ways and means to further bolster their relations in diverse fields.

On his arrival at Sadabad Palace, Prime Minister Imran was presented with an official welcome. National Anthems of both the countries were played on the occasion.

PM Khan will also call on Iranian Supreme leader Seyed Ali Khamenei. He will also meet Pakistani and Iranian business community during this visit.

On Sunday, the prime minister landed at the Tehran International Airport. He was warmly welcomed by Iranian Health Minister Dr Saeed Namaki. A smartly turned out contingent also presented him a static salute.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is accompanied by a delegation comprising Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Special Assistant on Overseas Pakistanis Zulfiqar Bukhari, Special Assistant on National Health Services Dr Zafarullah Mirza and Special Assistant on Petroleum Nadeem Baber.

Earlier, PM Imran Khan arrived in Mashhad for a brief stop-over on his way to Tehran, where he visited the shrine of Hazrat Imam Raza and offered dua and nawafil.

This is Prime Minister Khan's first official visit to Iran comes days after gunmen shot dead 14 people, including Pakistan Navy personnel, near Ormara in Balochistan on April 18.