Iran Shows Interest to Enhance Defense Ties with Pakistan

Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: Iranian ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said that Iran wanted to enhance bilateral relations with Pakistan in all fields including defense. He also desired to start direct flights between Islamabad and Tehran which will be benefited by business and diplomatic missions of both countries. Iranian Envoy expressed this during a meeting with Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain here in Islamabad on Thursday.

Minister for Defence Production Rana Tanveer Hussain said Pakistan was vigilant about security of its borders and successful execution of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. “The CPEC project can also offer huge transit benefits to Iran,” he said while talking to Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost.

During the meeting, the two sides discussed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation in diverse fields including defence, defence production, energy and technology, “Both the countries agreed to fund 0.2 million for research projects,” said a press release. The minister invited the envoy to visit maritime facilities including the Karachi Shipyard and Engineering Works (KSEW).

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The Iranian ambassador expressed interest in enhancing bilateral and regions relation. They also agreed to mutually benefit from each other’s expertise to tackle terrorism and money laundering. They also expressed the need for direct flights between Tehran and Islamabad.

Earlier Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardost has announced that Iran can start supplying gas to Pakistan by the end of next year. He was addressing a ceremony held by the Pak-Iran Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday at Islamabad Club. The Iranian envoy said that Tehran and Islamabad have been in negotiations over the gas pipeline project. “After spending two billion dollars, we have completed our part of the project by constructing the pipeline along Pak-Iran border,” he said, adding that talks were also underway between the two countries to discuss the possibility of exporting Iranian electricity to Pakistan.

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Urging the business community Iranian Envoy highlighted the strong and brotherly relations between the two Islamic nations. However, he said there was still huge trade gap between the two neighbors which could be filled in the coming years. The Iranian ambassador held that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Iran could reach up to US$5 billion, provided the government and private sector take responsibility for expanding it.

Addressing on the occasion,President Pak Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Wali Muhammad said that Pakistan and Iran are cooperating in various fields. He stated that both the countries have important role in the Muslim Ummah and by enhancing their cooperation further the two countries can play effective role at the international level. He also pointed out trade related activities to be promoted at the plate form of Joint Chamber.

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Vice President Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khurshid Barlas stressed upon the need for developing institutional linkages between the two countries for achieving higher growth and cooperation in trade and industry.

The Writer is Editor Daily Online News Paper “The Fortress” can be reached at arifqoreshi@gmail.com

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