Desperate Pak PM fails to get support on Kashmir issue from Iranian President Raisi

Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday thwarted Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s attempt to raise the Kashmir issue as he kicked off his crucial three-day visit to Islamabad.

While making his opening statement during the joint presser, Sharif thanked the Iranian President for taking Pakistan’s side on the Kashmir dispute between Islamabad and New Delhi.

“We are thankful to Iran for its support for the Kashmir cause,” said Sharif adding that the both sides have identified and agreed to cooperate on matters of mutual interest and regional concern.

However, he failed to get any word of support from the Iranian President as he refrained from giving any comment on the issue and remained focused on addressing the Israel-Palestine conflict.

“It is now established how the United Nations has failed to live up to its mandate and stop the ongoing genocide of innocent Palestinians in Gaza by Israel,” he said during his opening statement at the joint presser at the Prime Minister’s house.

The Iranian President’s comments are being seen as a clear snub to Islamabad on its repeated efforts to garner support on the Kashmir dispute from regional and global players.

“Pakistan should know better about the relationship between Iran and India. Our Prime Minister should have been careful in mentioning Kashmir during the presser, knowing that Iran’s main focus is on its current conflict with Israel,” said Abdullah Momand, a political analyst.

“Kashmir issue and Pakistan’s diplomatic efforts to gather support have not been strong enough to get a supportive statement out of a country’s supreme leader like Raisi. It was rather embarrassing to see that our premier thanked the Iranian President for a supportive stance on the Kashmir dispute, a stance that was neither established nor reciprocated by Raisi,” he added.

However, while Pakistan failed to get any word on Kashmir from the Iranian President, both sides agreed to increase the volume of trade and business ties to at least $10 billion.

“We are committed to strengthening relations to 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 $10 billion,” Raisi said during the presser.

At least 10 MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed between the two countries that aim at enhancing mutual cooperation towards trade and development.

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