Iran envoy calls for closer Tehran-Islamabad ties

Islamabad, Sept 6, IRNA -- Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost said that Iran and Pakistan as two important neighbors in the region should strive further with strong resolve to enhance their mutual cooperation.

Addressing a seminar on 'Pakistan's Geo-strategic requirements: Strategic alliances or partnerships' organized by Pakistan House, an independent institute of international and cultural affairs in Islamabad on Wednesday, Honardoost said cooperation among important regional countries like Iran, Pakistan and Turkey and some regional countries who unfortunately have become ignorant and look forward towards the US can create a great alliance in this geopolitical and sensitive region with huge material and human resources.

“After the end of cold war, geopolitics as a factor of pragmatism of the foreign policy of the countries has become more significant,” he said.

Honardoost added some intellectuals consider geopolitics as effectiveness of geographical events in politics, including geographical location, resources, mobility, transportation and technological changes.

He said after developments in the international power structure and changing political and economic positions in the international areas, fields of effectiveness of international powers have also been changed and subsequently news areas of power have taken shape in the world.

“One of the most important new areas is Asia, Europe and Africa,” the Iranian ambassador said, adding that Pakistan via Afghanistan can play a role in Central Asia.

Honardoost noted what is important in geopolitics of Pakistan is its role in regional considerations and the foreign policy of the country is based upon it.

“Important subject of effectiveness in the region is 9/11 incident which put South West Asia in the international developments, some analysts believe that incident of 9/11 in the region targeted the region and this put Pakistan and Afghanistan as frontline states in the war against terrorism,” he said.

The ambassador said that Pakistan due to its maritime and coastal location with the Arabian sea and the Indian Ocean in terms of maritime exercise enjoys a special place. This country enjoys high capability of land and maritime powers.

He said that the most important factor of the independence of Pakistan was Islam, that's why interaction with the Islamic states has been the priority in the foreign policy of Pakistan. “As Islamic Republic of Iran also has legitimacy with Islam, so Pakistan has special place in the foreign policy of Iran.'

Honardoost added that in this connection Iran and Pakistan have participated in most of the meeting of the OIC conference. “Unfortunately, in view of differences of some countries, effectiveness of the organization could not be materialized well.

He was of the view that one of the most important areas for cooperation between Iran-Pakistan in shape of regional pacts is ECO and the ECO in view of the cooperation of important regional countries in economic development can play its role.

The Iranian ambassador said the ECO provides as appropriate opportunity for Iran-Pakistan to coordinate their politics in line with economic growth and render necessary ground to facilitate economic activities and encourage investment and trade and remove transit hurdles between the two countries.

He added that one of the ways to enhance cooperation between Iran and Pakistan has been the creation of common Islamic market.

“To achieve this goal and preparing of appropriate ground for mobilization and effectiveness of market, utilization of forums like D-8 Group of the Islamic countries has been useful and trade and economic arrangements under groups of thee eight countries can be beneficial and they can benefit from experiences of each other,” Honardoost noted.

He said D-8 can provide a good opportunity for every member country, especially Iran and Pakistan.

Mehdi Honardoost went on to say that in the first decade of 21st century demand for natural gas is growing high.

“IP pipeline in this regard is a highly strategic project, completion of remaining part of the project in Pakistani territory will be highly significant in view of energy problems in Pakistan,” he said.

The diplomat added utilization of this project and its connection with important project of CPEC will be basic change and would bring vast economic development in Pakistan and the region.

He said in view of important interests of Iran and Pakistan in this project, we except from brotherly country of Pakistan to take steps to complete it and take a final decision in this regards. “Pakistan can utilize from investment capabilities of some Chinese and Russian companies for completion of this project.

Honardoost said in view of long border between Iran and Pakistan and due to variety of products, development of border markets can play basic role in economic and trade development between the two countries, but unfortunately much attention has not paid to it.

The ambassador said officials of the two countries rightly call Gwadar and Chabahar port not rivals to each other rather complementary.

He added that establishment of rail network between Gwadar and Chabahar and its stretch up to Europe and Central Asia from Iran would witness a major economic development in the region.

Honardoost added that Iran and Pakistan being two neighboring countries have important role in Afghanistan after end of cold war, overcoming some problems in this region and especially during recent times and after new strategy of the US administration regarding Afghanistan which is opposed by the two countries.

“Today the need for cooperation between Iran and Pakistan for bringing durable peace in Afghanistan is realized more that any time before,” he said.


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