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Iranian President Raisi Refuses to Back Pakistan After PM Sharif Rakes Up Kashmir Issue

author The Wire Staff
Apr 22, 2024
During a joint press conference in Islamabad, Shehbaz Sharif 'thanked' Iran for its support on Kashmir. However, Ebrahim Raisi refrained from mentioning Kashmir.

New Delhi: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s attempt to win the support of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on the Kashmir issue on Monday, April 22, came to naught.

During a joint press conference in Islamabad with Raisi, Sharif raked up the Kashmir issue and thanked Iran for its stance. “I thank you (Raisi) and the people of Iran for raising your voice for Kashmir,” Sharif said. He attempted to link the Kashmiri issue with that of Gaza and Palestine.

However, President Raisi refrained from mentioning Kashmir and instead talked about Iran’s support for those fighting against oppression especially in Palestine.

Raisi began his three-day visit to Pakistan on Monday months after the neighbouring countries carried out retaliatory strikes against alleged terrorist hideouts on rival lands. Raisi is the first foreign leader to visit Islamabad after Pakistan held its controversial general election on February 8.

The two leaders discussed ways to promote bilateral ties at political, economic, trade and cultural levels. “We are committed to strengthening relations at the highest levels. The 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,” Raisi said during the joint press conference.

Sharif, for his part, said, “We have to keep this relationship strong despite the challenges we both face.”

Pakistan had also sought to win the support of Saudi Arabia when Sharif had visited Saudi Arabia in April first week. The Saudi-Pakistan joint statement had called for a  “dialogue” between New Delhi and Islamabad to resolve the strained ties, as well as the Kashmir dispute. The statement, however, fell short of cross-border terrorism.

India’s stance on talks with Pakistan is that it is willing to restart dialogue with Pakistan, only after cross-border terrorism ends.

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