Iran and Pakistan have agreed to enhance defence cooperation and coordinate on border security following a meeting on Saturday in Tehran between the commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), General Hossein Salami, and Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, General Asim Munir.
Munir, who was on a two-day visit, also met with his Iranian counterpart, General Mohammad Baqeri to discuss increasing bilateral relations in the fields of defence, security, military and training.
Salami was quoted as saying: “The IRGC is prepared to work in cooperation with the Pakistani Army to change the security conditions at the border between the two countries and turn them into economic borders.”
“We consider the security of Pakistan as our security and we will end the life of terrorist groups by expanding interactions, cooperation and joint actions.”
“Our regional environment has always been influenced by international political forces and there are powers that do not tolerate the unity and cohesion of Muslims,” he added.
For his part, the Pakistani army chief said: “In order to solve the challenge of insecurity and activities of terrorist elements in the common border areas of the two countries, we are ready to strengthen the cooperation [with Iran] and use the most suitable solutions to overcome the current situation and achieve progress in other areas of mutual interest.”
In recent years the two countries have been working together to strengthen bilateral economic ties and to address mutual security concerns over combating terrorism along their common border, particularly Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province which shares a border with Pakistan’s restive Balochistan province.
On 8 July, four militants belonging to the designated terrorist group Jaish Al-Adl were killed after carrying out an attack in Iran’s southeastern provincial capital of Zahedan, killing two policemen. The incident prompted Iran’s Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi to indirectly warn Islamabad about cross-border terrorism.