Published On: Tue, Apr 30th, 2019
Published in Category: Islamabad

Pakistan Iran Parliamentary Friendship Group holds first meeting

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ISLAMABAD: Convener Senator Lieutenant General (retd) Abdul Qayyum has observed that Pakistan has always reaffirmed that we will never be a party to Iran’s economic strangulation and any other measures to curb its growth. Iran was the first country to recognise Pakistan after it gained independence in 1947. Subsequently Pakistan was the first country to recognise the new governance structure in Iran after the Iranian Revolution. He termed the relationship between Iran and Pakistan as one of hearts.

The meeting was held with the Convener Senator Abdul Qayyum in the chair and was attended among others by Senators Walid Iqbal, Syed Mohammad Shah Ali Jamot, Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost, Dr. Mohammad Aejaz from the Foreign Office and Mrs. Sommayah from the Iranian Embassy.

The Ambassador hoped that the mutual cooperation will see new heights between the executive, Parliament as well as the people. He remarked that the people and the commonalities are the backbone of this relationship. The Ambassador apprised the friendship group about the expectations of the Iranian side from the bilateral relationship. He said that many of the hurdles and problems come for Iran because of the fact that Iran supports adamantly the Palestinian cause. He said that Iran is not scared of sanctions and is one of the best in its defence.

Hard times pass away but bitter memories never leave. He said that Pakistan and Iran need to activate all of their potentials for the betterment of bilateral relationship including banking transactions. He said that all sanctions on Iran originate from United States and not from any international organisation like UNO or EU and hence are not under any other binding.

He also said that the gas Pakistan can get from Iran Pakistan Gas Pipeline will be 30% cheaper compared to the gas Pakistan currently imports. It can create jobs, reduce the gas shortage among other benefits for Pakistan. He also touched upon the issue of initiating regular flights between Iran and Pakistan of PIA and Mahan Air and working on the purchase of Mashaak aircraft from Pakistan. The matter of opening border points was also discussed.

Both sides agreed that steps should be taken for mutual interest of both countries. The convener and members of the friendship group observed that both Iran and Pakistan cannot avert their eyes from each other’s problems. Railway connectivity, easy transportation to visitors who go to Iran every year and cooperation between Gwadar and Chahbahar was also discussed. The Ambassador appreciated the work of the Foreign Office in resolving many of the issues at bilateral level.

Dr. Mohammad Aejaz from the Foreign Office while responding to the matters raised that all of the issues were discussed at length before and during the Prime Minister’s visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran. He said that Pakistan has expressed intention to move ahead on all of         Islamabad, 29 April, 2019.

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