Thursday , June 29 2017

Pakistan, Iran agree to extend trade and fight against terrorism

By Arif Qureshi

Islamabad: The Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security Alaeddin Boroujerdi made a three days visit of Pakistan. During his stay in Islamabad he made marathon meetings with Advisor to Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, chairman of the Senate of Pakistan Reza Rabbani, speaker National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq Khan, National Security Advisor Lt General ® Nasser Janjua, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed, Awais Khan Leghari, Senator Mrs. Nuzhat Sadiq, and Senator Farhat Ullah Babar. The main purpose of his visit was to invite Pakistani leadership to participate in a international conference on the topic of Palestine which will be held on 20th February in Tehran but he also held delegation level meeting with Sartaj Aziz and discussed the progress in IP Gas pipeline project, Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Iran, threats of terrorism in the region, possibilities of Iran’s inclusion in the CPEC and latest developments to bring peace in Afghanistan.  Alaeddin Boroujerdi also conveyed the official letter of invitation from Iran’s Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani to Pakistani leadership.

At the end of the visit Alaeddin Boroujerdi addressed a crowded press conference in Islamabad in which he concluded the visit. Speaking on regional policies of Iran and responding to queries of the journalists at the culmination of his visit to Pakistan, he said China, Pakistan, Russia and Iran should enhance cooperation for the regional development and take joint stand on different international issues. When asked whether Iran will join the 34 country military alliance if Saudi Arabia officially invites to Iran, Boroujerdi categorically refused to accept the invitation and blamed that Saudi alliance was established to kill innocent people of Yemen and during the last one year they have killed thousands of innocent man, women and kids in Yemen. Responding to a question about Indian spy agent kulbhushan yadav Allauddin Boroujerdi said intelligence agencies of both countries are in touch with each other and investigating the matter.

Allauddin Boroujerdi said Pakistan and Iran have agreed to enhance bilateral trade from one billion to five billion dollars as both the countries have potential to increase the volume of trade. About the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Iran he said it will be activate in near future. He said Gwadar and Chabahar ports are sister ports and both will help boost bilateral trade between the two countries, adding the two sides have agreed to expand co-operation between the two ports so that these ports could be linked to Central Asia and China. About China Pakistan Economic corridor (CPEC) we have already welcomed the project and expressed our desire to be part of that project. He said we have discussed with National security advisor of Pakistan Nasir Janjua about the revival of peace process in Afghanistan and assured him that Iran will play its role to bring peace in the region.

In a delegation level meeting Adviser to the Prime Minister on Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said that Pakistan valued its relations with the brotherly Muslim country of Iran, with which “we have fruitful cooperation in diverse areas of common interest.” The two sides discussed matters of mutual cooperation and agreed to further deepen bilateral ties with particular focus on trade and economic cooperation, besides discussing various regional and international issues.

Earlier Chairman Senate Mian Raza Rabbani welcomed the delegation led by Special Envoy and Chairman of National Security and Foreign Commission of Islamic Consultative Assembly of Iran Allauddin Boroujerdi here at the Parliament House on Thursday. Allauddin Boroujerdi extended on behalf of the Speaker of the Iranian Parliament an invitation to the Chairman Senate for participation in Palestine Conference to participate an international conference on Palestine in Tehran 20th February. On the occasion Mian Raza Rabbani said that Pakistan attaches highest importance to its historic relations with Iran and is looking forward to further enhance the traditional ties for better economic and political collaboration through increased Parliamentary linkages between the two countries. Mian Raza Rabbani assured full cooperation to Iran for supporting the Palestine cause by organizing an International Conference to this effect and promised that he would make all out efforts to ensure his participation in the event.

 

Accompanied by Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan, Mr. Mehdi Honardoost the Iranian delegation met with Speaker National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq at parliament house.  The Speaker said that Iran and Pakistan are bonded in the eternal ties of religion, culture and history and there is commonality of views and perceptions of both the countries on all regional and global issues. He also expressed the need for increase of contacts between the Parliamentarians and political leadership of the two countries as well as people to people contact. Mr. Allauddin Boroujerdi conveyed his firm commitment to collaborate with Pakistan’s parliament in quest of more robust and diversified relations between the two countries. He added that Iran consider Pakistan as its partner for peace in the region and expressed his hope that in future both nations will continue to chart the paths of prosperity together. He reiterated Ayaz Sadiq’s proposal for diversification of trade and economic relations and urged for comprehensive engagement of the Parliamentary committees to explore the avenues for mutual cooperation.

Senator Hussain Sayed, Chairman of the Senate Defense Committee urged the Iranian delegation to enhance cooperation between Chabahar port of Iran and Gwadar port of Pakistan stressing that such cooperation would benefit the entire region. Mushahid Hussain Sayed Expressed pleasure on lifting of illegal sanctions against Iran and said that discriminatory attitude towards peaceful nuclear programs of the countries should be ended. Pointing to Iran and Pakistan cooperation on the forum of the Asian Parliamentary Assembly, the Pakistani official urged for further bilateral Hussain Sayed also said that Pakistan is committed to complete the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, quoted by IRNA News Agency. Allauddin Boroujerdi extended an invitation to Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed to participate in an international conference on Palestine which is to be held in Tehran on February.

Alaeddin Boroujerdi, the chairperson of Iranian Parliament’s Committee for Foreign Policy and National Security also held a detailed meeting with his counterpart Sardar Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari the Chairman Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Assembly. Mr. Boroujerdi told his Pakistani counterpart that the necessity of enhancing bilateral ties of Iran and Pakistan to the highest and best level is an issue that deservedly fits both nations and governments of Iran and Pakistan. He called for more interaction and visit by the senior officials of the two countries to accomplish the goal. Awais Ahmad Khan Leghari welcomed the Iran’s proposal to mediate between Islamabad and New Delhi,” and said, “We desire unity among all countries of the region, Persian Gulf states, and Muslims to minimize the tensions and create a concordance which benefits the whole Islamic world.”

In meeting with National Security Adviser Nasser Khan Janjua both discussed Matters pertaining to security of the region. NSA chairman said Pakistan attaches great value to its relations with neighbor country Iran. He said that Iran is a very close friend of Pakistan and there is a need to further improve bilateral relations.

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

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