Iran Hints At Role In Kashmir Resolution

ISLAMABAD: On the eve of his India visit Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran was ready to play its role for a peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue.

Addressing Pakistan National Assembly Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Zarif said Iran cannot offend Pakistan to please somebody. He said Iran backs the oppressed, both in Palestine and Kashmir.

Meanwhile briefing media in New Delhi, External Affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Iranian Foreign Minister called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday. Prime Minister recalled his meeting with President Rouhani of Iran and reiterated that India attached high priority to its relations with Iran. 

The Prime Minister also congratulated Iran for reaching an agreement with P5+1 countries and expressed confidence that it would contribute to greater peace and stability in the region.

Earlier Zarif told Pakistani senators that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was backing terrorism in Iran and was funding a move against the nuclear deal between Iran and the West. Praising Pakistan’s role in bringing about a settlement between the Taliban and Kabul, he said Daesh was trying to set up its sanctuaries in Afghanistan, a danger for both Pakistan and Iran.

He said there was no conflict between Shias and Sunnis but vested interests were creating a rift between the sects. He questioned who were the Shias in Palestine Iran was trying to protect, adding that they do not consider the KSA separate from them but the kingdom should also look at its negative attitude.

Zarif on his second visit to Pakistan said that Iran wanted completion of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline on fast track basis.

The Iranian minister also threw his weight behind the Pak-Afghan talks being held in the capital, hoping for success of these negotiations so that it would lead to peace in the region. “Iran hopes for a positive outcome from the talks between the Afghan Taliban and Afghan government being mediated by Pakistan, which will help bring peace in the region,” Zarif said while addressing a joint press conference with National Security Adviser Sartaj Aziz.

Earlier, Zarif had met with Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif and later led his delegation at the Foreign Office with Sartaj Aziz. He said he had discussed the regional situation and extremism with the Pakistani leadership.

Zarif was supportive of the Pak-China Economic Corridor, which will also pass through Balochistan.

“Iran supports economic development in Pakistan’s Balochistan areas and Iran’s Sistan-Balochistan areas,” he added.

Pointing to Pakistan’s consistent position to support Iran for decades in the face of threats from the West, Zarif recounted, “We are grateful that Pakistan supported Iran in the international fora and our right to use peaceful nuclear energy. We will never forget friends who stood with us. We hope for enhanced cooperation after sanctions are lifted and the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project should be expedited.” The visiting foreign minister was optimistic of expanding economic cooperation with Pakistan after the lifting of Western sanctions on Iran and said that this would increase regional cooperation and would be a useful force to fight extremism and terrorism.

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