Iran envoy calls for bolstering ties with Pakistan

Islamabad, May 9, IRNA - Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost stressed on the need for stronger ties between Iran and Pakistan, adding that the two countries had no choice but to come together.

Speaking at a seminar on 'Pakistan-Iran relations: Challenges and Future Prospects' organized by Islamabad Policy Institute (IPI), he said convergence in the region is the key element for overcoming the conflicts and responding to common concerns.

He said true success of Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit could be judged by keeping in view the fact that third party has been active to drive a wedge between the two countries.

Honardoost added that visit was full of emotions. 'You cannot find any two countries in the world like Iran and Pakistan that have so many commonalities,' the envoy said.

He said there was no conflict of interest between Pakistan and Iran, which provided a good basis for working for developing the relationship to its full potential.

Honardoost said that ties between Iran and Pakistan are natural, adding that terrorists and other groups are active in the region under a written scenario.

He noted that Iran and Pakistan are working on IP gas pipeline project, power lines and road connectivity projects.

“But our hands are tied because of the lack of direct banking channel,” said the ambassador.

He strongly believed that IP gas pipeline 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.

In his view Pakistan’s import of gas from Iran would not be affected by US sanctions, which he said, were unilateral and illegal.

Honardoost went on to say that disunity in the Muslim world is the real problem faced by the Muslims. “We are in the worst time of the Muslim world.'

He said some powers do not want to see the potential of Muslim world coming together. “They are sitting in a shadow and laughing at us,” Honardoost added.

'Our common enemies have no mercy on us,' the ambassador pointed out.

He said Pakistan and Iran had no choice, but to come together. “They cannot turn their back on each other despite the pressures,” Honardoost stressed.

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.

The ambassador categorically dismissed allegations against Iran regarding security incidents, and said that Iran can never think about destabilizing Pakistan or working against its interest.

He added that Iran and Pakistan can also cooperate on bringing back peace and stability to Afghanistan.

Honardoost was of the view that Muslims must not play in the hands of western powers.


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