Caretaker Minister for Information and Broadcasting Murtaza Solangi said on Tuesday that Pakistan was keen to promote cooperation with Iran in the fields of media, film and drama. During a meeting with Iranian Ambassador Reza Amiri Moghaddam, who called on him in the federal capital, the minister said,” Cooperation between the two countries in the fields of media is the need of the hour.” The minister and the ambassador discussed issues of mutual interest, fraternal relations between the two countries and promotion of cooperation in the field of media. “Cooperation between the two countries in the field of media is indispensable,” Murtaza Solangi said. A memorandum of understanding had already been signed between the Associated Press of Pakistan and the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), while many other agreements were under process to enhance cooperation between television, films, cinema, literary and linguistic institutions, he maintained. These agreements, he said, would help project real culture and traditions of the two brotherly countries. The two sides agreed to further strengthen and expand bilateral cooperation in various fields, including economic, commercial, cultural and tourism sectors, besides people-to-people contacts. The Iranian ambassador congratulated Murtaza Solangi on assuming charge as caretaker minister for information and broadcasting. Pakistan highly valued brotherly relations with Iran, Murtaza Solangi said, adding both the countries were bound by deep religious, cultural and linguistic ties. The governments of two countries were promoting close cooperation for the betterment of their people and socio-economic development, he said. The minister and the Iranian envoy agreed on exchange of media and cultural delegations between the two countries. Ambassador Reza Amiri Moghaddam said that Allama Iqbal had the status of a national poet in Iran. “Iranians hold Allama Iqbal, the great poet of the subcontinent, in great esteem.” The minister said that a film on the life and poetry of Allama Iqbal would be made in collaboration with Iran. “Our relationship with the Persian language is very old,” Murtaza Solangi said, adding that Allama Iqbal and Sachal Sarmast had great similarities in their Persian language work. Sachal had earned the title of “poet of seven languages” for his works in seven languages, he added. The minister said that cooperation between the two countries was necessary for the promotion of literary works of Allama Iqbal and Sachal Sarmast for other Persian poets. The academic literature of Pakistan and Khana Farhang Iran could play an important role in that regard, he added. He also stressed for the expansion of economic relations between Pakistan and Iran. The minister briefed the Iranian Ambassador about the steps being taken regarding the general elections in Pakistan as the primary mandate of the caretaker government was to assist and monitor the electoral process. He said that conducting peaceful elections was a priority of the present government. Ambassador Reza Amiri Moghaddam said that Iran fully supported free and fair elections in accordance with the Constitution and law of Pakistan. He also appreciated the Minister’s interest in regional cooperation and assured his support.