Zarif meets Pakistan PM Imran Khan in Islamabad

PM Imran and COAS General Qamar Javed Bajwa

US-Pakistan relations remain frosty due to a deep and longstanding trust deficit, but mindful of the country's alleged influence over the Taliban, the US has not imposed sanctions and continues to engage with its estranged ally despite the strained relations.

After his return from Pakistan last month, Mr Sidhu said, there was controversy in India, but the new Pakistan prime minister said "they want peace".

It added that both sides held detailed discussions about regional and global issues, including the situation in Afghanistan and USA decision to unilaterally withdraw from the historic nuclear deal Iran signed with the P5+1 group of countries in 2015.

The council would help to optimise and synergise the formulation and implementation of economic and financial policies of the government.

The Prime Minister's Office said in a statement that Nakane also conveyed Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's commitment to work closely with Khan. However, experts believe that Pakistan might be unable to support Iran as it has promised. "I can say with full confidence that relations between both the nations would be enhanced", he said.

Official members are the minister for finance, revenue & economic affairs, the minister for planning and development, the secretary of the finance division, the governor state bank, the adviser on institutional reforms, the adviser on commerce and the deputy chairman of planning commission.

Zarif and Imran Khan said Muslim countries should strengthen close cooperation to solve issues related to the Muslim world and the region.

Zarif also emphasized that the two neighboring countries of Iran and Pakistan should boost cooperation to counter any plot aimed at spreading Islamophobia.

The premier was received by Chief of the Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa on arrival.

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