Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan met the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace in Tehran on Monday.
On his maiden visit to Iran, Khan, discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations and ways to further ties in diverse fields with President Rouhani.
According to Dawn, Khan is visiting Iran in a bid to strengthen trust between the two neighbouring countries. He was invited by President Rouhani.
Khan later held a joint press conference with President Rouhani, during which he stated that he fears terrorism could become “a divisive part of the two countries’ bilateral relations and increase differences between the countries”.
He said that the most important agenda item for his visit to Tehran was “the issue of terrorism”.
The premier noted that Pakistan had “probably suffered more from terrorism than any other country, with over 70,000 lives lost in the past 12-13 years”.
He said that the security agencies of Pakistan must be appreciated for the way they tackled and overcame terrorism in Pakistan.
“We are much luckier than Afghanistan, where despite all Nato strength and despite the Afghan security forces, they could not overcome militancy the way we did in Pakistan,” the premier said.
He further said that the entire political spectrum in Pakistan had come to the conclusion that no militant groups would be allowed to operate from the Pakistani soil.
He is also expected to meet Iranian Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei and other top government functionaries.
Khan reached Iran on Sunday and paid his respects at the shrine of Imam Raza during a brief stopover in Mashhad. He also met the leadership of the Khorasan-i-Razavi province, and told them that maintaining good relations with neighbours was the cornerstone of his government’s policy.
— PTI (@PTIofficial) April 22, 2019
Khan was initially scheduled to visit Iran in January, but the trip was reportedly postponed at the eleventh hour due to unexplained reasons. The Foreign Office had simply issued a statement highlighting that Pak-Iran relations were “marked by close historic and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people exchanges”.
The relations have, however, also experienced downswings due to security issues along the border areas.