Iran, Pakistan to hold joint naval drill

October 16, 2021 - 19:6

TEHRAN — Expressing confidence over the results of his visit to Pakistan and emphasizing the common ground between the two neighbors on various issues, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, said that both sides agreed to expand intelligence sharing as well as holding a joint naval drill in the future.

At the end of his second official visit to Pakistan, which lasted four days and ended on Friday evening, Baqeri said in an exclusive interview with IRNA that Pakistan has a special place for the Leader of the Islamic Revolution and the Armed Forces for its commonalities with Iran, as well as the long borders the two countries share.

He added, “In the recent meeting and previous meetings, we have agreed on the need to provide better security for the common borders, and fortunately in recent years, significant efforts have been made by both neighbors to create border barriers, and to control human and drug trafficking.

The general noted that now the border between the two countries is much safer than in the past and is becoming one of the ideal borders of Iran.

Iran's membership in Shanghai organization paves way for strengthening ties with members 

Responding to a question about Iran’s membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Baqeri referred to the serious will of Iran to expand relations with its neighbors.

The military chief, who led a high-level military delegation to Pakistan, underlined, “Iran's membership in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will definitely strengthen Iran's relations with Pakistan and other member states of the organization.”

Making common borders completely secure

Referring to his meetings with senior Pakistani political-military officials and the conclusion of consultations and agreements, Baqeri noted, “In this trip, we agreed to continue our work to secure borders and finish the incomplete projects.”

He added that based on the agreements reached, today Tehran and Islamabad can have simultaneous exercises on both sides of the border and establish joint bases in the Mirjavah border area.

The top general highlighted that now there are simultaneous and instantaneous lines of communication between the two neighbors.

He added, “Coordination between Iran and Pakistan will take place immediately in the event of any incident on the border, and fortunately our common borders are moving towards full security, which was one of the important areas of our discussion with our Pakistani counterparts.”

Afghanistan problems and impacts resulting from American forces’ escape 

Responding to a question about Afghanistan, the top military official stated that one of the other issues that is extremely important these days is the issue of Afghanistan, which has been affected by the irresponsible withdrawal of Americans from Afghanistan.

He added that due to the power vacuum in the country, a plethora of problems may occur in Afghanistan. 

“During the meeting with Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, which was also attended by the Pakistani ministers of defense and foreign affairs, both sides were able to share their views on many bilateral issues, regional developments, including Afghanistan,” Baqeri added.

He also said, “Afghanistan's economic issues, the flood of refugees and insecurity and the serious problems that the ISIS terrorist group can create, affect both Iran and Pakistan.”

He went on to elaborate by saying that Afghanistan was discussed in detail with the military and political officials of Pakistan and it was emphasized that a stable system should be formed with the participation of all ethnicities and sects in Afghanistan.

The top general noted, “Fortunately, there was a full agreement with the military and political officials of Pakistan in this regard, and it was agreed that the two countries will continue consultations in the military sector.”

Deeper military ties and holding future naval exercises 

Baqeri called the military cooperation between Iran and Pakistan the third issue that the Iranian delegation pursued during the trip, adding, “We have had educational cooperation with each other in the past and the navies of the two countries visit each other's ports.”

He went on to say that during the trip good agreements were reached. “In the future, we will hold joint naval exercises both in the Pakistani waters, as well as the southern waters of Iran.”

The top general also announced the presence of Pakistani ships in the joint Iran-Russia-China exercises, which began two years ago.

He said, “Military competitions between the armed forces of the two countries are developing. At the present time, Iranian pilots are being trained in Pakistan, and counter-terrorism training is being held in Iran, and in the next stages, various training will take place between the two countries.”

Baqeri, who had visited some of Pakistan's defense and military industries in the maritime and aerial fields in Islamabad, added that during the visit both sides agreed to cooperate and exchange experiences in the field of building aircrafts and tanks.

Improving intelligence cooperation to combat terrorism

Elsewhere in his interview, the top general said that there is good cooperation between Iran and Pakistan in terms of intelligence relations, intelligence training, and information exchange.

He noted that a mechanism has been set up to develop intelligence relations, stating that this cooperation has been deepened in the visits of intelligence officials from the two countries' armed forces and that it is expected to have a major impact on counter-terrorism on both sides of the border.

The four-day trip of Major General Baqeri and the high-ranking delegation to the cities of Islamabad and Karachi ended on Friday.

SA/PA

Leave a Comment

3 + 6 =