Pakistan: Prime Minister Shehbaz brings up the subject of Kashmir with Iranian President Raisi I DETAILS

Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has once again raked the issue of Kashmir in front of a visiting foreign leader. The latest came during a bilateral meeting with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who is currently on a three-day visit to Islamabad, despite the spiralling tensions in the Middle East. During a joint address in Pakistan’s national capital, PM Shehbaz applauded Iran’s support for “Kashmir” and said he voiced concerns over the so-called situation in Jammu and Kashmir which Islamabad dubbed as the “India-occupied region”. “PM Shehbaz also highlighted the plight of those in India-occupied Kashmir, appreciating the Iranian president for voicing support for them,” reported English news daily, Dawn. However, the joint address statement did not mention further on the issue i.e. what Raisi said to Shehbaz.Notably, both India and Iran share good diplomatic relations. However, Iranian leaders, have always supported Pakistan’s side on matters related to Kashmir. The Leader has often issued statements of support and solidarity with the people of Kashmir and he mentions the “just struggle” of Palestinians and Kashmiris in every sermon (a speech on a religious or moral subject). According to a report by Tehran Times, Iran’s position on Kashmir, clearly spelt out by Imam Khomeini, has been consistent since the Islamic revolution of 1979. Imam, who according to some historians traces his roots to Kashmir, had once made it categorically clear to a visiting Indian delegation that the ties between the two countries would not improve until the bloodletting in Kashmir continued. His successor has followed the same line on Kashmir, which is reflected in his statements and sermons.India, on the other hand, has always maintained a firm position that Kashmir is its internal matter. New Delhi, on multiple occasions, categorically asserted no foreign countries or entities should interfere over the issue.Besides Kashmir, President Raisi called Muslims across the world to stay united against Israel amid the ongoing war with Hamas. According to Raisi, all Muslim and non-Muslim people living in different parts of the world, who are thinking of freedom and who are wise people, are currently calling on Jerusalem to stop the alleged aggression on Gaza.

“Muslim people of Iran and Pakistan, and all Muslim and non-Muslim people living in different parts of the world, who are thinking of freedom and who are wise people, they are asking for the freedom and stop of this oppression (against Palestinians),” Raisi said.

The visiting president also asserted that exchanging “potentials and capabilities” that exist in both countries would serve the interests of the two nations. However, he did not mention any words on Kashmir. 

The statement said both leaders agreed on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism. Notably, Pakistan and Tehran were involved in airstrikes on each other earlier in January. However, the tensions cooled down swiftly following diplomatic efforts. 

Moreover, the leaders also agreed to increase the trade volume between the two countries to $10 billion. Ebrahim Raisi asserted that the existing volume was “not acceptable”. “We are committed to strengthening relations at high levels. […] Economic and trade volume between Iran and Pakistan is not acceptable. We have decided as a first step to increase trade volume between our two countries to $10bn,” Dawn quoted Raisi as saying.

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