General

Pak, Iran create a joint rapid reaction force at borders for combating terrorism

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and visiting Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan agreed on Monday to set up a joint border “reaction force” to counter terrorism.
“We agreed to create a joint rapid reaction force at the borders for combating terrorism,” Rouhani said, following months of increased tensions over attacks on both sides of the two countries’ frontier.
Addressing a joint press conference with Rouhani, Prime Minister Imran Khan, who is on his maiden official two-day visit to Iran, said Pakistan has resolved not to allow any militant group to operate from its soil.
“We have been facing [impact] of terrorism since long. In Pakistan, we have suffered more terrorism than probably any other country. In the past [few years] we have lost around 70,000 people. Full appreciation must be made for our security agencies, with the way they tackled terrorism in Pakistan,” the premier said.
“We are committed to not let it happen again. We will not allow any militant group to operate from our soil. We will not allow our soil to be used by anyone against anyone.”
“I felt that the issue of terrorism was going to increase differences between Pakistan and Iran. So it’s very important that we [resolve] this issue,” PM Imran added.
PM Imran and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks at the Saadabad presidential palace in Tehran earlier today.
The two leaders discussed bilateral relations, regional issues and ways and means to further bolster their relations in diverse fields.
Prime Minister Imran, who is in Iran on a two-day official visit, was earlier presented with an official welcome upon his arrival at the Saadabad Palace.The premier will also call on Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, and meet Pakistani and Iranian business community during the visit.
The prime minister landed at the Tehran International Airport on Sunday, where he was warmly welcomed by Iranian Health Minister Dr Saeed Namaki. A smartly turned out contingent also presented him a static salute.
Read more:PM Khan receives official welcome in Tehran, meets Iranian President
Prime Minister Imran is accompanied by a delegation comprising Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser on Commerce Abdul Razak 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, the premier 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.
PM Imran’s visit to Iran, the first since he took office last year, comes days after gunmen shot dead 14 people, including Pakistan Navy personnel, near Ormara in Balochistan.
On Saturday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Islamabad had evidence the “terrorist outfits” that carried out the attack have “training and logistic camps inside Iranian areas bordering Pakistan”.