Wednesday, 17 October 2012 13:05:55
Pakistan, Iran vow to expeditiously pursue joint mega projects
BAKU (Azerbaijan), Oct 16 (APP): President Asif Ali Zardari
Tuesday emphasized the need for expeditious implementation of
various joint mega projects, including the multi-billion dollar
Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, electricity transmission lines and rail
and road projects.
During meeting of President Asif Ali Zardari and his Iranian
counterpart President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad here on Tuesday, on the
sidelines of the 12th ECO Summit, the two sides discussed bilateral,
regional and international issues.
From Pakistan side, the meeting was attended among others by Foreign Minister, Hina Rabbani Khar, Senator, Haji Muhammad Adeel,
Inayat Ullah Kakar, Pakistan's ambassador to Azerbaijan, Alamgir
Babar, special secretary and other senior officials.
Discussing bilateral relations, the President noted with
satisfaction the upward trajectory of the mutual relations and urged
for creating viable linkages between the two countries in areas of
trade and investment, energy and connectivity to bring the people of
two countries further closer.
He said that greater interactions between the leadership and
the people of the two countries would not only strengthen our
historical, cultural and religious bonds but would also help to
benefit from each others' resources and expertise.
The President said that there exist huge potential of trade
between the two countries and urged for effective steps which
includes preferential tariff and free trade arrangements to reach
the bilateral trade target of US $ 10 billion.
The agreement on export of wheat and rice to Iran was a test
case for our barter trade and if successful it can be replicated in
other areas, President Zardari said and stressed the need for
removing tariff and non-tariff barriers and identifying alternative
arrangements to further enhance the bilateral trade.
The two leaders also reviewed progress on the mega projects,
including the Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline, the 1000 MW Taftan-Quetta
power transmission line; the 100 MW Gwadar power supply project;
construction of Noshki-Dalbandin section of Quetta-Taftan Highway
and upgradation of the Quetta-Taftan Railway Track and urged for
early implementation of these projects.
Issues related to visa facilitation and opening of the new
border posts at Mand-Pishin and Gabd-Rimdan to connect Karachi and
Gawadar with Chah Bahar and Bandar Abbas through the Coastal Highway
On situation in Syria, President Zardari said Pakistan was
deeply concerned over the fast deteriorating situation in Syria as
"We believe that stability in this region was important for peace
in the region and beyond."
He said Pakistan desired immediate end to the bloodshed in
Syria and would continue advocating principles of non intervention
and non interference in the internal affairs of states.
The President said that Pakistan strongly supports
independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and
that it would continue supporting any initiative which could provide
political space to all the Syrian parties for bringing peace and
stability in the country.
On situation in Afghanistan, the President reiterated
Pakistan's principled stance of supporting an Afghan-led and Afghan-
owned reconciliation process.
The President said that control of trans-border movement of
narcotic drugs and human trafficking among Pakistan, Afghanistan and
Iran is a priority for the Government and stressed the need to
further intensify cooperation at the bilateral and trilateral