Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood co-chaired the 11th Session of Pakistan-Iran Bilateral Political Consultations (BPC) with Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Dr. Ali Bagheri Kani at the Foreign Office, today.

During the session, the two sides reviewed entire spectrum of bilateral relations in all areas including political, economic, trade, connectivity, security, energy, education, and people-to-people exchanges. The two sides also had a comprehensive exchange of views on the regional situation. The Foreign Secretary congratulated the Iranian side on full membership of SCO.

Welcoming the Deputy Foreign Minister on his first visit to Pakistan after assumption of office, the Foreign Secretary expressed satisfaction at the upward trajectory in bilateral relations. He stated that the recent high-level interactions have further enhanced common understanding on matters of mutual interest.

Foreign Secretary Sohail Mahmood underlined the importance of closer coordination to enhance trade and economic relations in order to achieve its true potential. It was emphasized that regular convening of various institutional mechanisms, including Joint Economic Commission and Joint Trade Committee, would be instrumental in overcoming existing challenges. The two sides underlined complementarities in the regional projects and agreed that these would transform the region into a pivotal hub for trade, transportation links, and connectivity.

The two sides expressed satisfaction at mutual cooperation at multilateral fora, including at the UN, OIC, ECO and reaffirmed the resolve to continue collaboration on global and regional issues of common interests.

Views were exchanged on the regional situation, with particular focus on Jammu & Kashmir and Afghanistan. The Foreign Secretary highlighted the situation in IIOJK, marked by grave human rights violations and Indian attempts to change the demographic structure of the occupied territory. He thanked Iran for its consistent support for the Kashmir cause, especially by the Supreme Leader.

On Afghanistan, the Foreign Secretary briefed his Iranian counterpart on Pakistan’s contribution to efforts for peace and stability. He highlighted that after 40 years of war in Afghanistan, there was an opportunity to end the conflict and establish sustainable peace in the country. The current situation demanded positive engagement of the international community, urgent provision of humanitarian assistance to alleviate the suffering of the Afghan people, and measures to help build a sustainable economy. It was agreed that the two countries would coordinate closely at bilateral and regional level to reinforce efforts for peace and stability in Afghanistan.

The two sides agreed to maintain the current momentum of high-level bilateral exchanges and strengthen mutually-beneficial cooperation in diverse fields.

5 October 2021

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