Re­gional Sta­bil­ity

Southasia - - Briefing -

The re­cent meet­ing be­tween Pres­i­dent Asif Ali Zar­dari and Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ahmedine­jad, on the side­lines of the D-8 Sum­mit, has greatly bol­stered Pak­istan-Iran re­la­tions. Im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing the Sum­mit, Ab­bas Ali Ab­dol­lahi, Con­sul Gen­eral of Iran, pro­posed that Pak­istan and Iran should es­tab­lish a bank­ing chan­nel to pro­mote bi­lat­eral trade.

The two coun­tries have pre­vi­ously col­lab­o­rated in the en­ergy and in­vest­ment sec­tors. Ab­dol­lahi sug­gested that the Na­tional Bank of Pak­istan open its branches in Iran and in re­turn, Bank Milli of Iran be al­lowed to open its branches in Pak­istan. Ad­di­tion­ally, he pro­posed that trade be­tween Pak­istan and Iran be per­mit­ted in lo­cal cur­ren­cies in­stead of re­ly­ing on the dol­lar and the trade route through rail­ways and road be reg­u­larised. He re­gret­ted that bi­lat­eral trade was not up to its max­i­mum po­ten­tial. This con­cern came amidst height­ened U.S sanc­tions to crip­ple the Ira­nian econ­omy in light of the lat­ter’s nu­clear am­bi­tions.

Ab­dol­lahi also voiced con­cern for the slow progress of the Iran-Pak­istan gas pipe­line project. Iran has al­ready com­pleted con­struc­tion of the 1,200 km pipe­line from Ban­der Ab­bas to Balochis­tan but in­ter­na­tional fac­tors con­tinue to hin­der the com­ple­tion of the whole project. In ad­di­tion to this, the Con­sul Gen­eral was con­fi­dent that Iran could sup­ply en­ergy to Pak­istan at a cost of 10 cents af­ter ini­tia­tives from both the neigh­bors are signed to for­mal­ize trade doc­u­ments.

The Ira­nian diplo­mat as­serted the need to ex­pand bi­lat­eral trade through eco­nomic in­te­gra­tion, re­duce trans­ac­tion costs and in­crease port ac­tiv­i­ties. The out­go­ing diplo­mat also urged to ac­ti­vate and de­velop a re­gional trad­ing block from within the Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion Or­ga­ni­za­tion (ECO) coun­tries, par­tic­u­larly be­tween Pak­istan, Iran and Turkey.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.