Jul 11, 2020, 1:44 PM
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US targeted Iranian nation by unfair sanctions: Pakistani minister

Islamabad, July 11, IRNA -- Pakistan’s Minister for National Food Security says that despite US sanctions Iran has done a splendid job to contain the locust menace stressing that unfair sanctions should be lifted at a time when Iran is fighting menaces of coronavirus pandemic and locust at the same time.

Syed Fakhr Imam 77 is senior Pakistan who has also served as the 11th Speaker of National Assembly of Pakistan from 1985 to 1986.

He has previously worked as the Chairman of Pakistan's Parliamentary Special Committee on Kashmir.

Imam during an exclusive interview with IRNA on Saturday said despite sanctions Iranians have been able to mobilize both human resource as well as material resource to confront the locust threat.

He said that the locust threat started last year in Pakistan and currently the government is utilizing all available resources to enhance capacity of local institutions to handle locust attacks across the country.

The minister said that about 966 joint teams comprising 5,082 people and 648 vehicles are currently taking part in anti-locusts operations in 32 affected districts across the country.

“We are building infrastructure and increasing our capacity to deal with this challenge,” said the minister.

Syed Fakhr Imam expressing his views said Iran has done a very efficient and splendid job to contain the locust menace despite the harsh sanctions imposed upon it by the United States.

“I am sure that in some parts of Iran you have been able to spray and minimize the threat of the locust,” he added.

The official said:  We are hoping that you will have the opportunity to get the required machines the required elements which can be used to take on the locust menace the chemicals included.

Syed Fakhr Imam to question said concerned officials in dealing with the pesticide must be considering Iran’s demand for pesticide because if you stop the locust in Iran it benefits Pakistan, India and rest of the South Asia. “So I think we should definitely consider that with great effort and try to resolve the shortages of Iran,” he noted.

The minister viewed Iran and Pakistan traditionally have had very good relations because we are both Muslim countries with long term friendship.

“We have always had cordial relations and remained friendly towards each other. There are lots of people who visit Iran from Pakistan annually.  We should keep on promoting our relations further because you are our immediate neighbor and for both of us peace and goodwill are very important,” said the official.

Syed Fakhr Imam noted one of the important ways to improve bilateral ties is through promoting imports and exports. “So if we can bring things to a situation where it benefits the both it is the best way forward,” he stressed.

The minister said in principle sanctions should be lifted from Iran because they are causing great harm to the citizens of Iran and any modern progressive and dynamic country would want that Iran should have normal relationship with rest of the world so sanctions are something which is negating this whole process and earlier they are removed the better it would be.

Responding a question about the ban on Iranian tomato from Pakistan he said: I am not sure whether it was a ban but I think Pakistan government is considering trading tomatoes from Iran. “I think the ministry would be examining this if it is required. We would love to examine this. We will consider it definitely,” he stated.  

Syed Fakhr Imam recalling his experience of Iran’s visits said that people are in peace and seems to be very well organized. “Tehran is a very beautiful city, very well managed and administered,” said the minister.

He added the people of Iran are very well equipped and the quality of education is very high in Iran.  “The health of the people seems to be in a good condition in Iran. All of the roads in Iran are beautiful and full of trees so the whole management of Iran is extra ordinarily good,” said Imam.

The official added:  Your system of electricity and gas services which I could saw during my stay in Iran was also good. “The level of civil hygiene was very high,” he noted.

To a question about Iran-Saudi ties the minister said it would be for the mutual benefit of both Saudi government as well as the Iranian government to have better relationship, ‘I think it would have value to both countries.’

“Both are Muslim countries and both have great historical role to play. Of course there would be people who do not like this to happen there are forces in the west which are not happy that these two countries normalize relationships,” he added.

Syed Fakhr Imam said anyway it’s a big challenge for the leadership of both Iran and Saudi Arabia to understand the long term benefits their ties would bring for the people of the two countries. “It may take a little bit of time but it is upto the leadership to decide but they have to take some initiatives,” he noted.      

He said the approach of Iranian leadership is constructive. “Iran has created much of the area that has peace with Iran, they have created goodwill,” said the minister.

The official said Pakistan, Iran relationship should always be friendly and we have great respect for each other.

“We should continue with that so that citizens of both the countries prosper in their own ways. Iran is a country of 90 million Pakistan is a country of 220 million so both of us can move in a direction that would be of mutual benefit to both,” he said.

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