All the groundwork in this connection has been completed and the power supply would start as soon as Pakistan finalized work on transmission lines, said the Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan Mashaallah Shakeri in a meeting with the Federal Minister for Communications Dr Arbab Alamgir Khan here Thursday.
The Federal Minister told the ambassador that practical steps should be taken to implement the agreement signed between Pakistan and Iran last year to start bus service between Quetta and Mashad.
The Minister said that Pakistan and Iran shared a long history of friendly relations and underscored the need to enhance mutual cooperation in various sectors of economy. He said that Pakistan was working to develop new communication links with Iran in order to increase its share of trade with the latter.
He informed the Ambassador that a new road connection with Iran through Makran Coastal Highway will be opened soon which he hoped will go a long way in bringing the people of the two countries closer together. He said the opening of the new route will link Gwadar Port with the Iranian Port in Chabahar which he said could bring enormous economic benefits to the two countries. He also hoped that Iran would facilitate Pakistan as a transit to export its commodities to Turkey and offered the government’s full cooperation to the Iranian traders in their efforts to get access to the Chinese markets.
The Ambassador said that his country shared Pakistan’s desire to increase bilateral cooperation in various sectors. He said that Iran wanted to import citrus fruit and vegetables from Pakistan.
He also informed that Iran would soon start a special train service between Zahidan and Mashad for passengers coming from Pakistan. He said that his government was ready to offer Pakistan a soft loan for the construction of Nushki-Dalbandin section on Quetta-Taftan highway. He also proposed for the creation of a joint Pak-Iran shipping company.
The Minister said Pakistan would welcome Iran investment in its road sector and assured him about government’s support in this regard. He also appreciated Ambassador’s proposal for a joint shipping company and said that such a step would benefit the shipping industry in both the countries.
They also agreed on the need for a meeting between the Communication Ministers of the two countries in the near future in order to make progress on these issues. The Minister informed the Ambassador that a formal invitation in this regard would soon be extended to his country.
Secretary Communications Sharif Ahmed, Member Finance Zafar Iqbal Gondal, Member Planning Raja Nowsherwan and other high officials from National Highway Authority were also present on the occasion.