Pakistan will not “allow any militant group to operate” from its soil, prime minister Imran Khan said on Monday, April 22, while on a visit to Iran.
In a joint press conference with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in Tehran, Khan said the problem of terrorism was creating "differences” between the two countries and that is why he was in Iran to “resolve this issue”.
Citing a militant attack on Pakistani security forces in Balochistan on April 18, he said Pakistan’s security chief will be meeting his Iranian counterpart today to discuss how both countries can cooperate to not allow their territories to be used by militant groups.
The Pakistani prime minister is visiting Iran at a time when relations between the two countries are strained and both sides have blamed each other for providing sanctuary to militant groups.
Rouhani on his part announced that agreement has been reached with Pakistan to set up a rapid reaction force to ensure security at the volatile border areas.
The foreign minister of Pakistan blamed an alliance of Baloch separatists for the attack in which 14 security personnel were killed.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in on April 20 that Islamabad seeks action against Baloch militants based in Iran.
In the joint press conference broadcast live by Pakistan's state TV, Rouhani said, both sides have agreed on increasing bilateral trade and Iran will help Pakistan in meeting its energy needs.
“Iran is prepared to meet the requirements of Pakistan when it comes to oil and gas..also, to take up the necessary measures to connect the gas pipeline to Pakistan” he said.
Rouhani also mentioned the Chabahar port and said he wishes to connect it with the Gwadar port in Pakistan by a railway line.
Both leaders also expressed their wish for a political settlement in Afghanistan. Rouhani criticized the U.S. administration for recent “inappropriate measures” in the region especially related to designating Iran's IRGC as a terror group, which he called an“insult” to the “Islamic Revolutionary Guards.”