Pak-Iran task force formed to fortify security cooperation

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran on Saturday decided to constitute a high level task force to further strengthen security cooperation between the two countries.

The task force has been constituted under the supervision of the interior ministers of the two countries as a way forward to further cement relations and identify mutual areas of concerns, besides recommending measures for effective redressal of those issues, said a press release.

The two sides also reaffirmed their commitment to work hand in hand for achieving shared objectives, and for ensuring peace and security in the region.

It was agreed to enhance mutual cooperation in the area of security with greater interaction among law-enforcing agencies and intelligence sharing for effective border management, controlling trans-border crimes, including drugs trafficking and human smuggling.

This understanding was reached during the meeting of Interior Minister Chaudhary Nisar Ali Khan and his Iranian counterpart Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli here at the Punjab House.

The two leaders discussed the whole gamut of Pak-Iran relations, specially focusing on existing level of cooperation in the area of security, the mechanism of interaction among the law enforcing agencies of the two countries, shared challenges and the way forward in removing irritants and further strengthening mutual interaction.

Welcoming the visiting dignitary, the Interior Minister observed that the government and the people of Pakistan greatly valued their friendly ties with Iran that drew their strength not only from the geographical proximity alone but also from religious and cultural affinities.

He said,” We must never forget that the two countries not only share borders but our concerns and destinies are intertwined and interlinked.”

He said the two brotherly countries must never lower our guards against those who would never miss any opportunity to sow the seeds of distrust among them.

“We must join hands in neutralizing those elements and work hand in hand for peace and socio-economic development of our people,” he added.

The Interior Minister underscored the need for further strengthening the existing mechanism for effective monitoring and management of porous Pak-Iran border.

He said loopholes in border management provided an opportunity to criminals as well as those who wanted to create instability in the two countries and the region.

The Iranian Interior Minister reciprocated the sentiments of Chaudhary Nisar and said that there was need to make greater efforts for securing mutual interests of the people of the two countries.

Discussing trans-border crimes, including the menace of drugs and human trafficking, Nisar observed that the government of Pakistan had been making serious efforts to curb human trafficking.

However, he added,”We need to make greater and joint efforts in effectively controlling this crime that is committed through land routes.”

The two sides agreed to further strengthen their cooperation in effectively checking the menace of human smuggling.

The two leaders also discussed way forward in further cementing the mechanism of intelligence sharing and maintaining liaison among the law-enforcing agencies of the two countries.

The two sides also agreed upon the need for early implementation of all mutual agreements in the area of security.

There was unanimity of views on the need to further improve security atmosphere in the adjacent areas of the two countries, especially in those areas where the developmental activities were being undertaken.

Regional situation also came under discussion. The Interior Minister reiterated that Pakistan had abiding interest in the security and socio-economic development of the region and was making sincere efforts for ensuring lasting peace in the region. APP