Dispelling the perception: Iran not against CPEC
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2015-08-16 08:58:47

Dispelling the perception: Iran not against CPEC

Iran

 

 

Iran dismissed on Thursday suggestions that it was against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, including the Gwadar Port, saying it “supports growth and development anywhere in Pakistan.” Iran’s foreign minister Javad Zarif addressing a joint press conference with Sartaj Aziz, “We believe economic development both in Pakistan’s Balochistan province and Iran’s Sistan are fundamental to fight poverty and extremism.” Responding to a question regarding Iran’s support for CPEC and the Gwadar port, Zarif stated, “We certainly support growth and development anywhere in Pakistan, particularly in Balochistan.” Zarif’s statement comes in view of reports claiming that Tehran considers the project a potential threat to its Chahbar port. Further, following the nuclear deal, India has also shown interest in building the Chahbar port, which is not far from Gwadar. Chinese announcement of investing a whopping $46 billion on the CPEC has led to speculations that other regional countries particularly India and Iran may make attempts to undermine the project. However, the Iranian diplomat dismissed the suggestion reiterating that his country is in full support of such development projects.

Further, Zarif called upon Pakistan to work in unison to eliminate sectarianism, terrorism and extremism from the region and the world. After the signing of a nuclear agreement by Iran and world powers in Vienna on July 14, the doors have been opened for Iran to augment its relations with countries in Asia and the Middle East. Energy starved Pakistan needs to expand economic cooperation with Iran. The stalled Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project remained the main point of discussion. Iran has invested $ 2 billion on the completion of the pipeline on its side and is waiting for Pakistan to complete the project on its part. Iran is offering every possible help to Pakistan to have good relations. Islamabad should seize the opportunity because Pak-Iran trade relations have enormous potential. Pakistan should also take the initiative to further improve ties with Iran and reciprocate the Iranian goodwill. It should fully take benefit from the generous offers extended by Iran regarding the gas pipeline project and electricity trade agreements. Besides energy and gas projects, there are numerous opportunities to increase bilateral ties by establishing road and rail infrastructure in the border areas of both countries. Pakistan also needs to satisfy Iranian concerns regarding the poorly policed border areas in the context of Jundullah’s attacks inside Iran. Besides developing trade and economic cooperation, Iran is seeking to address its neighbours’ concerns and engage them for the resolution of regional issues, such as the conflicts in Syria and Yemen, and also for dealing with the threat from terrorist groups including Daesh. Cooperation among regional countries is the only way forward for prosperity and wellbeing of the people. It is definitely in the interests of Pakistan and Iran to have a better economic and trade relationship. Both neighbouring countries should stand by each other for the common good.

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

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Tags:   pakistan ، India ، CPEC ، Iran ، Gawadar ، Javed Zarif ، IP project ،
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