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Iran, Pakistan agree to establish full security along borders, hold joint naval drills: Top commander

The chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, speaks to IRNA at the end of his official four-day visit to Pakistan on October 15, 2021. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s top military commander says the Islamic Republic and Pakistan have agreed to work towards the establishment of full security along common borders and improve bilateral military cooperation by holding joint naval drills.

The chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, made the remarks in an interview with the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) at the end of his official four-day visit to Pakistan on Friday.

He said Iran and Pakistan have agreed to improve security along common borders and have made great efforts to create border barriers, control border traffic, fight drugs smuggling and human trafficking and combat other factors causing insecurity at borders.

“Today, fortunately, the common border between the two countries is much safer than in the past,” the top commander said.

Baqeri added that the two neighboring states have enjoyed military cooperation in recent years and said, “During this visit, good agreements were reached, including on holding joint naval drills whether in Pakistan’s waters or in the southern waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the future.”

He noted that Pakistan would attend joint maritime exercises by Iran, Russia and China, which have been held since two years ago.

Baqeri, who toured some of Pakistan's defense and military production centers in Islamabad, said the two countries agreed to share experience in the fields of aircraft and tank manufacturing.

He emphasized that Tehran and Islamabad have good cooperation on intelligence exchange, relations and training and noted that the two sides have devised strategies to further strengthen such interaction through the exchange of visits among their Armed Forces officials, “which is expected to play a leading role in fighting terrorism along borders.”

The top Iranian commander also pointed to the latest developments in Afghanistan and said the “irresponsible” withdrawal of the American forces from the country has caused numerous problems and led to a power vacuum.

Baqeri emphasized that economic issues in Afghanistan, the flow of refugees, insecurity and other serious problems that the Daesh terrorist group may create would have impacts on both Iran and Pakistan.

He said he held detailed talks with Pakistan’s military and political officials on Afghanistan, adding that the sides stressed the importance of the establishment of a sustainable political system in the crisis-hit country with the participation of all groups.

During his visit to Pakistan, the top Iranian commander held meetings with senior Pakistani political and military officials, including Chief of the Army Staff of Pakistan Army General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee General Nadeem Reza, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Navy Admiral M Amjad Khan Niazi and Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The sides discussed strategies to boost Tehran-Islamabad relations in military, security and strategic fields, increase security of common borders and promote peace and stability in the region and the Muslim world.

The ongoing developments in neighboring Afghanistan have been a major concern for both Iran and Pakistan.

In his meeting with Baqeri, the Pakistani premier stressed that there is no military solution to Afghanistan’s problems, calling for the formation of an inclusive government comprising of all Afghan groups.

The Taliban militant group retook control of Afghanistan on August 15, two decades after they were ousted from power as a result of a US-led military invasion of the country.

Taliban’s seizure of power came in the wake of the withdrawal of US and foreign forces from Afghanistan. President Ashraf Ghani also fled the country.

On September 7, the Taliban announced the formation of a caretaker government in Afghanistan, where hunger and poverty have significantly increased during the past two months.

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