Mar 31, 2021, 5:21 PM
Journalist ID: 2053
News Code: 84280397
2 Persons


Iran-China Comprehensive Document, dividends for Pakistan

Islamabad, March 31, IRNA -- A Pakistani columnist describing the Iran-China Comprehensive Cooperation Document as a dream come true for the two countries and a good sign for the success of the whole region says it would bring many benefits to Pakistan in terms of energy.

Arhama Siddiqa in her article titled ‘from phantasm to reality: the China-Iran deal’ published in ‘Express Tribune' on Wednesday said the document on Iran-China cooperation has common interests for Pakistan, especially facilitating the country's energy needs and strengthening security on the border with Iran.

She said last year, an 18-page draft of an agreement between China and Iran came into the limelight. “However, on March 27, what was being dubbed as a phantasmic idea became reality when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif inked the document in a ceremony in Tehran,” she said.

Siddiqa added under the agreement $400 billion will be invested in Iran over 25 years encompassing telecommunications (5G), infrastructure, banking, free trade zones, as well as a vast expansion in military cooperation.

She noted that the agreement in addition to providing assistance to Iran will give China a strong foothold in the Middle East.

The analyst was of the view the agreement will pave the way for increased border security, something which has amounted to much blame-game between Pakistan and Iran over the years.

“Even though both sides have been continuously engaged in addressing border issues through their Joint Border Commission and have formed a Rapid Reaction Force to counter threats from militants, there are still unaddressed issues such as human trafficking and smuggling,” said the expert.

She said for China, increased security between Pakistan and Iran is a necessity for the successful implementation of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is the BRI’s flagship project.

“Iran’s official inclusion into the BRI will be crucial in lessening Pakistan’s energy woes. The former has the capacity to export 3000MW of electricity to Pakistan at low rates. By the same token, the completion of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) Pipeline can now be expedited,” she said.

She added after the agreement further convergence now seems more likely than ever between Gwadar and Chabahar ports which are already declared sister.

Siddiqa strongly believed unquestionably, the China-Iran deal is an affiliation having great consequences. To the same degree, a resilient trilateral permanence between China, Pakistan, and Iran will bode well for the success of the entire region.

“The ultimate question remains whether Pakistani leadership will capitalize on the opportunities it augurs in a timely manner,” she said.

The strategic document was signed between the two countries on March 27, during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Tehran.

The document dates back to the official visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Tehran, during which the Islamic Republic of Iran and the People's Republic of China issued a statement raising the level of relations between the two countries to "comprehensive strategic partnership".


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