Sending Pak minister to Chabahar Port inauguration carries special message: Pak daily

Islamabad, Dec 11, IRNA – Leading Pakistani news daily in its report has said that visit of Pakistan’s Minister for Maritime Affairs Mir Hasil Khan Bizenjo to attend the inaugural ceremony of first phase of Chabahar Port carries a special message for Iran.

Daily ‘Express Tribune’ reported that despite any allusions, Islamabad and Tehran have been moving closer to each other, and diplomats on either side feel that the two countries understand and appreciate each other’s perspective.

It said days before Iran started preparations for the inauguration ceremony, it invited Pakistan to attend the event.

The report said Tehran followed up with not only the formal invitation but used all available diplomatic channels to make sure that the Pakistani delegation attends the ceremony.

Express Tribune added the objective behind this move was clear – Iran wanted to send a message that it would not allow any other country to use Chabahar against Pakistan.

The daily said such a firsthand account of close cooperation between Pakistan and Iran is unusual and represents a significant shift in the two neighbours’ ties.

It added the turnaround is also important when seen alongside Pakistan’s participation in the Saudi-led counterterrorism coalition. Iran, which is not part of the grouping, considers the initiative an attempt to further Saudi Arabia’s agenda in the region.

“That is one of the reasons that Pakistan has been treading a careful path on the issue as it has the potential to undermine ties with Iran,” the report said.

It noted that Pakistan, according to official sources, has given firm assurances to Iran that Islamabad would not become part of an initiative that targets the Islamic Republic.

“Tehran, in return, has pledged that it would not allow any regional country to undermine Pakistan’s interests. It added that Iran does not see Chabahar as a rival to Gwadar Port.

Iran has already mentioned that Chabahar and Gwadar ports would complement each other in the future.

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