March 12, 2019
Pakistan and Iran have agreed for a “closer “intelligence cooperation to combat terrorism amid rising diplomatic tension between the two countries following, killing of 27 Iranian troops in a suicide attack last month, a statement said.
“Prime Minister Imran Khan held a telephone conversation with the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani as part of his contacts to brief important regional countries and their leadership about the regional situation”, the statement by the Prime Minister House said on Saturday.
“The prime minister expressed his heartfelt condolences on the recent terrorist attack in which 27 Iranian guards were killed”, it said, adding both leaders “agreed on the need for closer cooperation among the two intelligence agencies in combatting terrorism”.
Rouhani said Pakistan and Iran are neighbors and brotherly countries linked through centuries of closed historic cultural and people-to-people linkages and their role would remain central in promoting peace, stability and economic development in the region, the statement added.
Ties between the two neighbors have plummeted in recent years following Islamabad’s close strategic and economic cooperation with Saudi Arabia.
Tehran also accuses Islamabad of not acting against hardline militant groups, which have been using the latter’s soil to attack the former, the charge Pakistan denies.
Iran’s growing strategic and economic partnership with Pakistan’s arch-rival India is another reason behind the strained relations between the two Islamic republics.
A social media campaign targeted Iran for allegedly conniving with India in recent air combat between Pakistani and Indian air forces.
The campaign was so widespread that the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan had to issue an official statement denying his country’s involvement against Islamabad.