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Third party cannot harm IranPakistan ties: Iran envoy

Islamabad, Iran's Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost strongly believes that external factors and third party cannot harm allweather friendship between Iran and Pakistan.

Relations between the two countries must reach its maximum level, both in official, intergovernmental and public tracks, he said while speaking to senior Pakistani journalists and TV anchors at Nowruz meeting in the embassy.

At the outset let me appreciate all of your sympathy and empathy for the recent destructive flood in different parts of Iran, said the ambassador.

He added after decades of the troubleresulted presence of transregional actors and the consequences of their presence; now it is the time to bring the countries of the region back together and facilitate peace and stability by tying our hands together.

Convergence and institutional cooperation in the region is the key element for overcoming the conflicts and responding common concerns, he viewed.

He said extremism, terrorism, sectarianism, drug and human trafficking, cultural and economic poverty, insecurity and civil wars, military presence of foreign forces, neocolonialism, weakening of linguistic backgrounds and original culture of the region, and identity crisis in younger generations are only part of our common concerns and dilemmas that our enemies foment for creating insecurity and disturbance in the region.

The relationship between Iran and Pakistan, as the two great Islamic countries and two brotherly friendly nations, is very pivotal in this region, said the ambassador. The Iranian envoy said Pakistan and Iran could promote their institutional cooperation in a variety of economic, political, security and cultural spheres through a long term strategic approach.

He was of the view that Iran's unparalleled geopolitical position has put it in the middle of the three continents of Asia, Europe and Africa.

The Supreme Leader of Iran has repeatedly rendered enormous importance to Pakistan for the sake of our neighborhood and religious brotherhood relations and has recommended spare no efforts to develop the relations with Pakistan to its highest possible level, ambassador Honardoost said.

He went on to say the media have an undeniable role in bringing public and official views closer. People and politicians look at other states through the window of media. The image that the media offers can play a role in drawing up the current and future of international relations, the envoy noted.

****Iran, Pakistan ties

Responding to a question the ambassador said both Iran and Pakistan have lots of pressures. He added that terrorists encouraged by a third party have become a permanent nuisance for the two countries but one thing is very clear that terrorism is something which is not tolerable for both Iran and Pakistan.

He noted that Iran and Pakistan have lots of achievements in regional issues against their enemies. Third party creates problem in our ties, Honardoost added.

The envoy went on to say that terrorism in region is against the people of the region. He noted third party will never permit promotion of ties between Iran and Pakistan.

He said Iran and Pakistan are victims of terrorism. Horizon is clear for stronger IranPakistan ties and soon you will hear good news in this regards, he said.

****Iran's role in CPEC

Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost expressing his views said that nobody can ignore importance of Iran, China and Pakistan in the region and their potential should be promoted.

He added that ChinaPakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is a game changer. He however warned that there are some vulnerable points in the region which can be exploited by third party. In CPEC nobody can ignore importance and capabilities of Iran as it has huge and enormous resourceswe believe in cooperation among regional powers, the envoy noted.

He added that Iran is ready to become part of the CPEC project and can play a very major role in making the project a success with its vast energy recourses.

****IranPakistan people to people contact

The Ambassador to a question said that enhanced people to people contact is a very important aspect of IranPakistan relationship. He said there are too many commonalties between Iran and Pakistan and there is zero possibility of conflict.

He noted Iran and Pakistan are cooperating with each other in the field of education but there are many other channels which can boost bilateral ties.

He stated Iran and Pakistan have signed many MoUs in education sector but there should be more interaction between the universities of Iran and Pakistan and there should be more cultural events.

The diplomat added that there is lack of information and knowledge between Iran and Pakistan about each others' capabilities and potentials.

Business is tangible side of our relations and we should promote regular interaction between Chamber of Commerce of the two countries, he stressed.

The biggest asset of the two countries is the public opinion, he noted.

Mehdi Honardoost said that the Supreme Leader of Iran always addresses Pakistanis as dear Pakistan's which shows how much Pakistan is important for Iran.

****Zionist Regime's interference in region

The ambassador added the most important global enemy of Islam is Israel. Unfortunately right now Muslims are engaged with each other, said the envoy. He said there is no doubt that a third party is active in region. He said everybody knows that Israel is very much active against Muslims of the region.

He added Iran and Pakistan have overcome all major hiccups in their relations and misunderstanding between the two brotherly countries is over and the conspiracy of third party is demolished.

Soon there will be very good news for the PakistanIran relationship, he said.

****Kashmir issue

The envoy to a question said Iran believes that Kashmir dispute between Pakistan and India should be resolved through dialogue peacefully.

****IranPakistan railway link

Mehdi Honardoost said that railway link between Iran and Pakistan is very crucial between the two countries. He said that it is very good that Pakistan's minister for railways is very active in this regards.

****IranPakistan trade

The ambassador said that despite the lack of banking channel the trade between Iran and Pakistan is increasing and currently the bilateral trade volume stands at US $ 1.5 billion.

However there are many difficulties in the bilateral trade but we can put our trade on jumping board, noted the Iranian envoy.

He said that Pakistani businessmen should expose their capabilities to Iranian counterparts. We need more business between Iran and Pakistan, he said.

He said that Iran is not under UN, EU sanctions. We believe in regional cooperation, the envoy said.

****IranPakistan gas pipeline project

Ambassador Honardoost that IranPakistan (IP) gas pipeline project can change the face of Pakistan's economy.

He added that the project can help Pakistan to overcome its energy crisis and would create more jobs in the country.

He said that Iran has completed 95 percent of the project in its territory and waiting for the other side to build its part of the project. He added that Pakistan should grab this opportunity as Iran is offering gas to Pakistan at much cheaper rates.

****IranPakistan air link

The envoy said that Iran desires to increase its flights to Pakistan from two flights per week to at least five flights per week. He said that despite being two very close neighboring states there are no direct flights available between capitals of Iran and Pakistan.

****ChabaharGwadar

Responding to a question, the Iranian envoy insisted there is no rivalry between the Gwadar Port and Chabahar port of Iran. In fact both the ports can complement each other.

We have lots of opportunities in the region and one of them is Chabahar, he pointed out.

He said that Iran is also willing to link Chabahar and Gwadar through railway line and we look it as an urgent case.

****IranPakistan border fencing

Ambassador Honardoost replying a question said that Iran and Pakistani border is very peaceful but sometime terrorists or smugglers use some part of the border to carry out their illegal activities.

So both sides have agreed to put fence on the border which is not the solution of the problem but part of the solution, he said.

Any separatists groups have no chance in the region, noted the diplomat. He was of the view that poverty and illiteracy are the major problems which need to be addressed on priority basis so that no third party can exploit these people to full their own agenda.

He said terrorism is a global phenomenon and it needs a global solution. Iran has no issue with fencing of border. He noted that both countries are locate in transit line of drug activity and smuggling adding that youth of Iran and Pakistan are exposed to drug trafficking.

The envoy said that despite that presence of the US in Afghanistan the smuggling of drugs has been increased which is very unfortunate.

Mehdi Honardoost said terrorist group Jaish ulAdl will be eradicated and Iran and Pakistan are on the same boat in this regards. He noted that terrorism is a common concern if both Iran and Pakistan.

**** Pak PM Iran visit

The Ambassador said that President of Iran Dr Hassan Rouhani has visited Pakistan two times thus we are expecting Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan to visit Iran soon. He is very dear friend of us, he said.

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency IRNA


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