Imran khan’s visit to Iran; Requirements & Opportunities

IRNA – Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan is scheduled to meet Iran Supreme Leader and the President on April 21st and 22nd, during his 2 day official visit to Iran.

Pakistan recently confirmed that Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay an official visit to Iran in near future but experts believe that his visit was conducted to balance Iran and Saudi Arabia relations and some Pakistani media have also said that the visit will focus on border security of the two countries, expantion of trade relations and talks about completion of Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline (IP).

*** Iran-Pakistan Trade expansion; an essential step

Iran’s exports to Pakistan have increased by around 38 percent during 11 months of past Iranian year 1397 which ended on March 20, 2019.
According to the figures of Iranian embassy in Islamabad, trade between Iran and Pakistan has witnessed a considerable growth.

During the year 1397, Iran exported products worth $1.128 to Pakistan registering 28 percent growth in terms of weight which stood at 2489 tons.

According to the latest facts and figures Pakistan is the eighth most favorite destination for Iranian exports, while China is on top of the list with Iraq the second and the United Arab Emirates being at third place.

Despite the banking and customs issues the trade between Iran and Pakistan has been increasing but still it is below its potential targets.

*** Iran-Pakistan cooperation
Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif was the first top foreign diplomat to visit Pakistan after the new government took office.

Pakistan has dispatched a load of over 32 tons humanitarian supplies to flood-hit Iran depicting close ties between the two states.

Earlier Prime Minister Imran Khan and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani had discussed bilateral and security relations in a telephone call.

Imran Khan expressed his heartfelt condolences on the terrorist attack in Sistan-Baluchestan province of Iran on neighborhood with Pakistan which 27 Iranian guards were killed. The two leaders agreed on the need for closer cooperation among the two intelligence agencies to combat terrorism.

In past, Pakistan tried to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia but all those diplomatic efforts failed to achieve the desired results.
Officials familiar with the agenda of the prime minister’s upcoming visit said Imran Khan would reiterate Pakistan’s proposal and call for unity among all the Muslim countries to deal with common challenges.

Prime Minister Imran Khan in an important statement last year said Pakistan will no longer act as a hired gun in someone else’s war showing his resolve to pursue an independent foreign policy.

Iran’s Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost while interacting with local media had stated that external factors and third party cannot harm all-weather friendship between Iran and Pakistan.
He noted that Iran and Pakistan have lots of achievements in regional issues against their enemies.

Analysts say that Iran, having the world’s third largest oil reserves and rich natural gas resources, is also capable of feeding the industry of Pakistan.

Despite the problems and lack of banking channel trade between Iran and Pakistan is increasing, Iran’s exports to Pakistan increased by around 38 percent during 11 months of past Iranian year 1397 which ended on March 20, 2019.

During last Iranian year 1397, Iran exported products worth $1.128 to Pakistan. There is also 28 percent increase in the weight of the exported items which stood at 2489 tons.

Leaders of Iran and Pakistan have already agreed to enhance the bilateral trade volume to $5 billion in the next five years.

Iran has expressed its desire to join China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. It is said that Iran with its vast energy sources can play a major role in making the CPEC a success.

The two countries in order to enhance their trade ties have already declared Chabahar and Gwadar ports as sister ports which will complement each other.

Iran and Pakistan are not just close neighbors but two important countries of the Muslim world and their cooperation is useful for the whole Muslim Ummah.

*** Iran – Pakistan border management

Pakistan has promised to boost security cooperation with Iran, saying that the two neighboring countries are considering fencing the common border to keep terrorists in check.

“We both are considering fencing the border so that no third party could sabotage the brotherly and friendly relations through any nefarious act,” Army spokesperson and director-general of Inter-Services Public Relation (ISPR) Major General Asif Gafoor said.

Islamabad plans to fence 950 kilometers of the border linking Pakistan’s Balochistan Province with Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Pakistani media quoted him as saying.

Gafoor’s comments came days after a terrorist attack originating from inside the borders of Pakistan killed 27 members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) in Iran.

On 2018 February, a bomber identified by the IRGC as Pakistani national Hafiz Mohammad Ali slammed his explosives-laden vehicle into a bus carrying off-duty IRGC members in Sistan Va Baluchestan.

The Pakistan-based Jaish ul-Adl Takfiri terrorist group, which has ties to al-Qaeda and the Al Saud regime, claimed responsibility.

Several attacks by Pakistan-based terrorist groups have in the past targeted Iranian security forces. Iran has always complained that Pakistan is not serious in confronting the terrorists.