ISLAMABAD: Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Pakistan was provided with all intelligence information Iran had on Indian spy Kulbhushan Jadhav.
Zarif, who is in the country on a three-day official visit, expressed these views during an interview with an anchorperson of a private news channel.
“There were two suicide bombing attempts near Pakistan and Iran border last night but they were countered with efforts of both the countries,” he shared.
“We have excellent cooperation from Pakistani armed forces. We are very happy with the level of cooperation that exists today,” he remarked.
Javad Zarif reiterated his commitment towards improving relations between the neighbouring countries, stressing that Iran will not allow its land to be used for activities against Pakistan.
He said that former prime minister Nawaz Sharif had tried to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia but the attempts did not receive a positive response from Saudi Arabia.
Earlier, speaking to journalists, Zarif had said the Iranian leadership will not allow anyone to use its soil against Pakistan.
The Iranian envoy had said that Iran’s relations with India were not aimed against Pakistan in any way.
Zarif also invited Pakistan and China to invest in the Chabahar port which was strategically situated at the mouth of the Straits of Hormuz, saying that both countries would need to cooperate to put an end to terrorism in the region.
Further, the Iranian foreign minister would also hold meetings with the Pakistani leadership and address a think tank on the mutual relations between Pakistan and Iran.
Earlier, while addressing the Pak-Iran Business Forum, the Iranian foreign minister informed that there had been a 50 per cent increase in trade between Pakistan and Iran since the last year.
“Together, we can move towards a free trade agreement,” he said, adding that Pakistan and Iran were the leading industrial countries among Muslim states.
Foreign Minister Khawaja Asif also weighed in on the topic and remarked that the trade activities between Pakistan and Iran had increased in the past two years.
“Trade with Iran has increased by one billion dollars,” said Asif. On the other hand, Zarif said that extremism and terrorism were the offshoots of extreme poverty and the problem could only be tackled through consistent economic growth.
Iranian FM meets COAS, NSA:
The Iranian FM called upon Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa at General Headquarters (GHQ).
According to Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), matters of mutual interest, regional security and Pakistan-Iran relations were discussed in the meeting.
The visiting dignitary appreciated bilateral security engagements during the recent months and measures initiated by both sides to improve Pakistan-Iran border security. The COAS said that regional peace was dependent upon wider cooperation within West Asia.
He also called upon National Security Adviser (NSA) Lt Gen (r) Nasser Khan Janjua and expressed profound satisfaction over the improving relations between the two countries.
Both sides stressed on the importance of identifying and removing all impediments to further improve bilateral relations. Regional security situation was also discussed at length in the meeting.
Common threats and opportunities were identified and both sides reiterated working in a cooperative framework to seek lasting peace in the region while catering to the sensitivities of each other.
Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Hoonardost was also present in the meeting.
Iranian FM addresses Karachi’s business community:
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif addressed the business community of Karachi and said that Pakistan and Iran had deep religious and cultural ties which should be transformed into strong economic cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two nations.
As a part of the celebrations of seventy years of Pakistan and Iran’s diplomatic ties, the event was hosted by the Pak-Iran Business Forum, which was working to bring the two business communities closer to promote bilateral trade and investment.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah and Sindh Minister for Information and Transport Syed Nasir Hussain Shah were also present on the occassion.
The prominent businessmen were Federation of Pakistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir, Vice Presidents Tariq Haleem and Waheed Ahmed, Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Senior Vice President Abdul Basit Haji Abdul Razzaq, Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig, Gulzar Feroz and S Khalid Tawab.
The Iranian FM recalled that Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan as an independent country.
He said that there was a huge potential for trade and investment on both sides which needed to be efficiently exploited. He further said that Iran was ready to help Pakistan meet its electricity demand to a great extent.
“Iran can be a reliable source for Pakistan to get gas and electricity,” he said, “we are very much capable of producing as much electricity as Pakistan wants.”
He said that both countries could partner in many sectors, including energy, science and technology, infrastructure and chemicals.
He said that B2B meetings would help promote bilateral trade and find investment avenues on both sides.
The Iranian FM said that he had visited Karachi many times and it was honour for him to be among the business community and political figures.
A presentation was given by a member of Iranian business delegation to highlight the economic potential of Iran and the opportunities for joint ventures with other countries.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah invited Iranian businessmen toinvest in Sindh, especially in Thar coal projects, wind and solar energy sector and infrastructure.
FPCCI Senior Vice President Syed Mazhar Ali Nasir said that both countries were not fully aware of each other’s economic potential and called for enhanced exchange of information and trade delegations.