ISLAMABAD - Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz told the National Assembly Friday that Pakistan is now in good terms with Iran, United States and Afghanistan after relations with the countries turned sour few years back.

In a written reply to a question, the advisor said that bilateral relations had turned sour in 2011/2012 that heightened mistrust and tension between Pakistan and US. A series of events which included Raymond Davis episode, Abbottabad incident and Salala border check post incident, adversely affected the relationship triggering Pakistan to close Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCs).

However, Aziz said relationship with the US was back on track again adding the year 2013 marked a substantial progress in relations with the United States. The highlight of the year, he said, was the visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Washington from 20-23 October 2013.

He said this was the first official visit of a Pakistani head of government to the United States in over a decade. It followed a peaceful and smooth democratic transition in Pakistan.

During the Prime Minister’s visit to Washington, the leadership of the two countries had agreed to strengthen bilateral cooperation in a range of areas including security, defence, trade, energy, economy and counter terrorism. They had also discussed regional issues including Afghanistan and measures to strengthen shared interests in a stable, secure and prosperous region.

Aziz said the bilateral Science and Technology Cooperation Agreements were also renewed on that occasion.

He said relations with the US constitute an important element of Pakistan’s foreign policy. This relationship spanning more than six decades is robust and wide ranging. United States is Pakistan’s largest trade partner and the biggest source of foreign investment.

He added the two countries enjoy strong defence relations. The large Pakistani community in the US is yet another bond between the two countries.

IRAN: The lower house was informed that Pakistan greatly values its relations with Iran which is a brotherly country.

He said two countries enjoy strong bonds of friendship that is based on religious, cultural and historic ties.

There has been a regular exchange of high level visits between Pakistan and Iran from 2012 to 2014. In the year 2012, relations between the two countries received a boost with several high level visits from both sides.

The two Presidents met on six different occasions and reiterated their firm resolves for boosting mutual coordination to meet common challenges facing the two countries including terrorism, narcotics and human trafficking. The year 2013 also witnessed a number of high level interactions between the two countries.

The National Assembly was also informed that Pakistan and Iran are now cooperating closely to develop economic linkages.

AFGHANISTAN: The house was informed that Afghanistan was sharing intelligence with Pakistan after the tragic attack on school in Peshawar adding that Kabul had ensured that its soil would not be used for carrying out terrorist activities against Pakistan.

He said that in the wake of operation Zarb-e-Azb, the terrorist infrastructure in North Waziristan had been eliminated. Pakistan also requested the Afghan authorities to take action on their side of the border to block the fleeing terrorists and eliminate terrorists’ sanctuaries.

During the visit of President Ashraf Ghani in November 2014, the two leaders had made a common commitment not to allow the respective territories to be used against the other. The Afghan leadership had indicated readiness to take measures on their side of the border to address specific security situations.

The two countries have already re-activated bilateral interaction at the military and intelligence levels. In the aftermath of the terrorist attack in Peshawar, the COAS again visited Kabul and shared vital elements of intelligence with concerned authorities.