Pakistan resolves to lower tensions with Iran

ISLAMABAD: The National Security Committee (NSC), the country’s premier authority on security and foreign policy, on Friday ratified the move towards reducing tensions between Pakistan and Iran and underscored a commitment to addressing mutual security concerns.

The NSC’s meeting was convened to deliberate on the latest escalation with Iran following its cross-border strikes and Pakistan’s retaliatory attack.

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar chaired the session, which was attended by caretaker ministers of defence, foreign affairs, finance, and information. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the chiefs of the Army, Navy, and Air Staff, along with the heads of intelligence agencies, also participated in the meeting.

“The forum (NSC) expressed that Iran is a neighbourly and brotherly Muslim country, and existing multiple communication channels between the two countries should be mutually utilised to address each other’s security concerns in the larger interest of regional peace and stability,” said a statement issued by the prime minister’s office after the meeting.

The statement marked a dramatic shift from heightened tensions earlier in the week, where both countries engaged in cross-border strikes and downgraded diplomatic relations. It laid the ground for opening a potential pathway towards renewed dialogue and diplomatic engagement.

The NSC hoped that both countries “would mutually be able to overcome minor irritants through dialogue and diplomacy and pave the way to further deepen their historic relations”.

The committee also reviewed border conditions and the readiness to effectively counter any future infringements on national sovereignty.

It emphasised that any violation, under any pretext, would be met with the state’s full force. It should be recalled that the first moves to de-escalation were witnessed hours after Pakistan executed retaliatory strikes against militant targets in what NSC described as “ungoverned space” in Iran, where Pakistan-origin Baloch militants were residing.

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