What Pakistan can reap from Iran-US nuclear deal?
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2015-07-17 09:15:07

What Pakistan can reap from Iran-US nuclear deal?

what

Islamabad is hopeful of reviving a stalled gas pipeline project connecting Iran to energy-starved Pakistan, Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said on Wednesday following the signing of a historic nuclear deal between Tehran and world powers.Launched in 2010, the project envisages the creation of 1,800 kilometre pipeline from Iran to Pakistan, which has for years been blighted by an energy crisis that has stunted its economic growth. According to experts Iran sanctions lift would also help Pakistan to end its regional isolation as Pakistan and Iran enjoy cordial ties and There is no baggage from history like there is with India. And the disparity in our respective economies is far smaller. Just consider the following. Iran’s top import is gold, which is probably because of the enormous declines in its currency due to the sanctions, and the relatively scant availability of dollars. With the sanctions lifting and dollars pouring in, that is going to change.After gold, the next five biggest Iranian imports are: wheat, semi-finished iron, corn, rice and vehicle spare parts. In each of these categories, we have a substantial presence, although it’s not clear what type of vehicle spare parts Iran imports and whether our market produces what they require. The top three Iranian exports are crude oil, gas and refined oil. We are a food-surplus country with a deficit in fuels. Iran has a surplus in fuel but a deficit in food. There is a natural partnership to be made here. A world wide Pew survey conducted last month reveals that Pakistan is the only country where majority comprising 57pc views Iran positively. It is anomalous under the circumstances that for sixteen years no Pakistani prime minister paid an official visit to Iran till Nawaz Sharif took the initiative last year. Part of the reason lies in US sanctions. The top three Iranian exports are crude oil, gas and refined oil. We are a food-surplus country with a deficit in fuels. Iran has a surplus in fuel but a deficit in food. There is a natural partnership to be made here. With the perceived threat of Iran’s nuclear programme dissipating, the US would not hopefully encourage terrorism inside Iran. This would reduce the terrorist menace in Balochistan also. One expects the US, Pakistan and Iran to jointly fight the threat posed by the fast expanding IS. If Pakistan and Iran agree to jointly support an Afghan-led, Afghan-owned settlement instead of working at cross purposes in Afghanistan, this would the sound death knell for sectarian terrorism.The lifting of sanctions on Iran opens a vista of economic opportunities for Pakistan. Suspended work on the Iran gas pipeline needs to be taken up urgently. Several other mega projects related to power transmission and extension and improvement of road-cum-rail network should be initiated at the earliest. It would be the height of incompetence to miss the historic opportunity.
pk.shafaqna.com

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