ISLAMABAD: Iranian President Dr Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has declared the OIC as an ineffective body, welcomed the ceasefire in Gaza and proposed free and fair elections to end the crisis in Syria.
However, he avoided making any comments on the Kabul-Taliban talks. On the Pakistan-Iran Gas Pipeline, he claimed the project would be completed by 2014. He condemned terrorist attacks inside Pakistan.
The Iranian president expressed these views in an exclusive interview to Hamid Mir of Geo News on Thursday night in Geo Television’s flagship programme ‘Capital Talk’. Ahmedinejad underscored the need for the improvement of ties between Iran and Pakistan as good neighbours.
When Hamid Mir asked him how to overcome sectarian problems and avoid misunderstandings between Iran and Pakistan, he said: “I have talked about the roads of the enemy. The colonial powers don’t want to see unity among our population at the national and regional levels. Just imagine if Pakistan and Iran are united, there would be no place for our enemies.”
He said the US did not want a peaceful and prosperous Pakistan. The Iranian president proposed a joint meeting of religious scholars from Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan and said they should sit together and find how to promote sectarian harmony.
He said that unity of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan could be a solution to many problems.Ahmedinejad also talked about Iran and Pakistan’s role in the stabilisation of Afghanistan and said both the countries could play a pivotal role through a political process in Afghanistan.
He avoided making any comments on the talks between the Taliban and the Karzai government and said Iran would support only a democratic solution in Afghanistan. The situation in Afghanistan could only be solved through regional understanding but the US must stop interfering in Afghanistan. When Hamid Mir asked him about the allegations that Iran was interfering in Palestine, Lebanon and Syria, Ahmaedinejad smiled and said that it was the US which sent its army into Iraq, it was the US which sent its army to Afghanistan and they say Iran was interfering. It was a joke. He said Iran supports free and fair elections in Syria for the resolution of the crisis.
When asked if there were any threats of attacks on the Iranian nuclear facilities, he said Iran was prepared for any such move. He said the Zionists were keen on military adventures to save themselves but he did not foresee any justification for this to happen. He also ruled out any possibility of dialogue with Israel.
About the US presence in Afghanistan, he said: “I am not sure they will leave in 2014, yet, I believe they will finally leave.”
Referring to the historical presence of foreign powers in Afghanistan, he said no foreign power could ever stay there. The US could not achieve its goal during the last ten years. So, now the US wanted to move towards the east to dominate the neighbouring countries of Afghanistan.
He said that Iran would complete its groundwork for the gas pipeline project by 2014 and hoped that Pakistan would also complete its work by then. When asked about the US drone strikes in the tribal areas of Pakistan, he termed this act an excuse by the US in the name of terrorism to tighten its control on the region. “They use this as their legitimate right to stabilise their position.”
Asked about the soaring trend of extremism and drug trafficking, the Iranian president said the US supported these trends. “For, if these trends diminish, it loses the excuse to maintain its presence or use these tactics,” he said and added that US drones were also flying over Iran.
Giving a solution to promote sectarian harmony, he categorically stated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was neither Sunni not Shia, but a Muslim. “So, if today every Muslim becomes united under this one point, there will be no strife or sectarian problem,” he maintained.
He condemned terrorist attacks in Pakistan and said that the brave people of Pakistan could defeat terrorism through unity.When Hamid Mir asked about the effectiveness of the OIC, he smiled and said: “I agree that the OIC is ineffective.”
Agencies add: Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, the Iranian president said his country is cooperating with Pakistan in the energy sector. Iran would provide one thousand megawatts electricity to Pakistan, he added.The Iranian leader said there are threats to his country but they know how to defend it.