Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Afghanistan: Iran's Interior Minister - NATO's presence cause for insecurity in Afghanistan

Source: IRNA

IRI Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar said here Monday several years of US presence in Iraq and NATO's presence in Afghanistan has not only not contributed to security in region, but became a cause for greater regional insecurity.

According to an IRNA Political Desk reporter, Najjar who was speaking at a press conference on the occasion of signing a security agreement with the Pakistan Interior Ministry Rahman Malek, condemned the recent terrorist incidence in Quetta adding, 'Unfortunately that terrorist incidence led to getting killed and wounded of a large number of innocent, Muslim people of that country and we sincerely condole with the government and people of Pakistan, particularly with the victims' bereaved family members.'

The interior minister added, 'Beyond doubt such criminal and dispute-aimed moves are not to the benefit of Pakistan, and will not be harmonious with the interests of Pakistan and the only people whose interests would be secured are the wretched enemies of Pakistan.'

Najjar added that the terrorist explosion in Quetta and similar events are contrary to the establishment of stability and security in the Middle East.

Pointing out that Iran and Pakistan have lots of religious, historical, and cultural commonalties, he said, 'The two countries are seriously interested in increasing the level of bilateral cooperation and the Iranian and Pakistani governments and officials must therefore prepare the ground for comprehensive expansion of ties.'

Najjar expressed certainty that ever increasing bilateral ties would ensure securing the Iranian and Pakistani nations' interests, as well as providing peace and stability for the region.

The interior minister reiterated, 'Keeping in mind the two countries' presidents Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Asif Ali Zardari's emphasis over expansion of interactions and improving the level of comprehensive cooperation in commercial, political, economic and security fields, we have reached satisfactory results jointly and the Pakistani Interior Ministry caretaker's visit, too, is in line with those objectives.'

Mohammad Najjar said that establishment of sustainable regional security and stability, joint campaign and security moves against bandits and narcotics traffickers, expansion of bilateral relations, boosting border security, campaign against arms trafficking; human trafficking and exchange of security information between the two countries are among main and major axes of just-signed the Iran-Pakistan Security Agreement.'

He expressed hope that signing this agreement would be a step towards the strengthening and further improvement of the already excellent Iran-Pakistan relations.

Relations between Iran and Pakistan have spanned since the common prehistoric Indo-Iranian heritage which connects all of Persian Empire with the Indo-Aryan civilization of the Indus Valley from 3000–2000 BC. This also includes a shared Indo-Parthian and Indo-Scythian civilization of antiquity to the strongly Persianized Islamic Empires in South Central Asia in the 13th to 19th centuries. The Western region of Pakistan was one part of the easternmost Satrap provinces of the Persian Empire which included the areas of Satraps provinces of the present-day Pakistan. Even as of today, many antique and historic buildings in Pakistan have classical Persian writings on manuscript of the buildings.

After the establishment of Pakistan on August 1947, Iran has a unique distinction of being the first country to have internationally recognized the status of Pakistan as a sovereign country. As of the current era, each country is the other's chief economic partner and large scale tourism and migration between the two nations has increased. Military collaboration began in 1950-1960s with Pakistan Armed Forces began the training of the Iranian Armed Forces in joint and modern warfare. This cooperation would continue throughout the Cold War with Iran supporting Pakistan in its conflicts with arch-rival, India.

In return, Pakistan went on to support Iran militarily during the Iraqi Imposed War in 1980s. The most serious breach in the relationship was the fourth phase of Afghan civil war, which saw Pakistan's uttermost backing of Taliban forces and counter-backing from Indo-Iranian forces. However since the year 2000, the relations between each state has been normalized and strong economical and military collaboration has strengthened the relations ever since.

Once partially part of together in the Persian Empire, both are officially designated as the Iranian Cultural Continent. Recent difficulties have included repeated trade disputes, influence of sphere, and political position. While Pakistan's foreign policy maintains balance relations with Saudi Arabia, United States and the European Union, Iran tends to warn against it and raised concern including Pakistan's absolute backing of Taliban during the fourth phase of civil war in Afghanistan during the last ending years of the 20th century.

Nevertheless, the economic and trade relations continued to expanded in both absolute and relative terms, and relations were immensely improved in 1999 that led the subsequent signing of Free Trade Agreement between two countries. At present, both countries are cooperating and forming alliance against a number of areas of mutual interest on fighting drug trade along their common border as well as defeating Afghan supported tribal insurgency along their border. They are both members of the Developing 8 Countries group of countries as well as the Economic Cooperation Organization; and are also both observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.