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We will never allow anyone to hurt Pakistan from the Iranian territory: Iranian FM

13 March, 2018

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ISLAMABAD: Iran on Monday reiterated that it will not allow its territory to be used against Pakistan. “We will never allow anyone to hurt Pakistan from the Iranian territory, just like we believe that Pakistan will never allow anyone to hurt Iran from its territory,” said Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif during his address at a public talk on ’70 Years of Pakistan-Iran Relations and Future Prospects’ organised by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) to commemorate 70 years of establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

“I believe Pakistan and Iran are prudent enough and have a solid foundation to lead the change for a stronger neighborhood based on the concept of including everyone and move from something that has caused bloodshed, misery and underdevelopment towards becoming a united Ummah,” he told the audience.

The visiting dignitary said that Iran and Pakistan have the longest ever diplomatic relations between two countries which are deep-rooted in common history, culture and values. He said a move by Pakistan and Iran to establish even stronger ties including increased economic, political and cultural ties between the people from both sides is in the interest of the entire region.

The foreign minister stated that both Iran and Pakistan have a bigger task to accomplish as two major Muslim countries living in a very difficult region. “We need to build a new paradigm in this neighborhood based on a new neighborhood networking policy. There is an illusion that security can be purchased. However, our world is not a world of coalitions anymore because we now build coalitions only to find our allies turning against us,” he said.

Zarif said that in order to have a better region, the two countries need to move to a paradigm based on understanding of the most important concept that security cannot be gained by deterring others. “Syria and Yemen are miseries which our own wrong choices have brought not only to us but to innocent civilians and we continue to blame each other for this.

Blaming may be a nice scapegoat, but it does not solve problems,” he said, adding that the Islamic world can be a very strong Ummah provided that no country tries to become the dominant force and no one tries to exclude anyone in the region. “We need a strong region rather than a strong man. Asia can become a basin for knowledge and development.

We do not need to have competition at the expense of each other. Instead of forming blocks, we need to form networks, because while the former are created to exclude somebody, the latter are built to include all,” he concluded.

Speaking on the occasion, Sartaj Aziz said Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan and that 70 years later, the common objective of both the countries is unity and prosperity of the Muslim Ummah. He said that the heart of diplomacy is in geo-economics, hence trade and investment should be increased. In this regard, both countries should improve their facilities and common links through both land and sea, he suggested. Strengthening economics and people-to-people links will result in a fruitful relationship beneficial to people of the both sides, he concluded.

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