Pakistan, Iran to strengthen ties: Maleeha

Modi govt seemed failed in putting a leash on officials of its spy agencies for the past several days

Iran has invited Pakistan and China to participate in the strategic Chabahar Port and said the initiative is not aimed at "strangulating" or "encircling" anybody, a media report, on Tuesday, quoted visiting Iranian foreign minister as saying.

The Iranian top diplomat, who left Tehran for Islamabad on Sunday afternoon heading a 30-strong politico-economic delegation, arrived in Karachi on the second day of his visit to Pakistan on Tuesday. Although the partnership can work to promote friendly ties between the two countries, there are heavy considerations for Pakistan to make before it agrees to be a part of the Chabahar project. On the other hand, Pakistan issued a demarche to India saying it was becoming hard for its diplomats to function in Delhi.

Both sides expressed their profound satisfaction over upward trajectory of improving relations. "To achieve this objective, we need to increase interaction both at the government and private levels".

On the first day of his visit to Islamabad on Monday, Mr. Zarif held meetings with Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, his Pakistani counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal.

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"Iran is always ready to help Pakistan meet its electricity demand to a great extent", he said, while recalling the number of advantages his country offered for Pakistan's economy and businessmnen. Iran would not allow anybody to hurt Pakistan from its territory, much like Pakistan would not allow its soil to be used against Iran, he said, while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) yesterday, according to Dawn newspaper.

Iran and Pakistan have had an overall cordial trade relationship. Future rows between India and Pakistan will place Iran in a mediatory role. The Iranian minister also, meanwhile, extended the invitation to China.

"Sindh offers phenomenal scope to investors, and over the years, massive development in energy sector proves this fact. Similarly, renewable energy projects in Thatta, Jamshoro and Sukkur offer a great opportunity to the investors", he said.

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