In a meeting with visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Javed Zarif who called on him in Islamabad to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over increasing high level exchanges between Pakistan and Iran to strengthen cooperation in diverse fields, dnd.com.pk reported.
He hoped that the two countries will continue to expand economic interaction for promoting mutually beneficial cooperation in the trade, investment, energy and connectivity sectors.
Sharif also conveyed Pakistan's deep condolences to the government and people of Iran over the tragic incident that took place in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan in which 11 Iranian border security guards were martyred on April 26.
Zarif thanked the prime minister and the government of Pakistan for continued efforts to strengthen bilateral relations and enhance interaction in all areas including trade and economy as well as border and security issues.
The Iranian foreign minister also conveyed the desire of the Iranian leadership and the government for continued efforts to expand bilateral ties.
Border security talks
Iran and Pakistan also addressed the issue of security on the common border after terrorists martyred 11 Iranian border guards in an attack launched from the Pakistani side.
The so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement. The assailants escaped into Pakistani territory immediately after the attack.
Upon arrival, Zarif met Pakistan's Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan. The senior Iranian diplomat emphasized at the meeting on the need for the resolution of border security loopholes, fighting terrorism, and punishing terror outfits, especially the perpetrators of the bloodletting.
Khan condoled Iranian nation and government over the loss, saying Islamabad was prepared to remove the obstacles at the political and military levels, and also through contacts with local officials.
The minister said Pakistan attaches significance to ties with neighboring Iran, adding, "We want to communicate this message to the world that Iran and Pakistan will always stand by each other and resolve problems through mutual cooperation."
President of Federation of Pakistan's Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) said on Tuesday that the current government of Iran has made serious efforts and paved the way for boosting Iran-Pakistan trade and economic ties.
Zubair Tufail told IRNA that the recent signing of Banking and Payment Arrangement (BPA) between central banks of Iran and Pakistan in Tehran, is a big achievement and it is just one of the outcomes of the JCPOA (the nuclear agreement signed between Iran and P5+1).
He added that lack of banking channel was the major reason for low Pakistan-Iran trade.
He noted that the removal of sanctions would also help boost trade between Iran and Pakistan.
FPCCI president noted that the current Iranian government followed a very good economic policy which helped boost Iran's economy and trade with other countries.
Tufail added that within one year, trade between Iran and Pakistan would cross the $2-billion mark from the current figure of just below $500 million.
The FPCCI president said that based on the agreement, the two central banks will nominate banks to undertake trade transactions with Iran.
"I expect that by mid-May direct business will start between the two countries," he said.
The FPCCI president said that people of Pakistan know Iran's industry very well so Pakistani businessmen are ready to import products which are in demand in Pakistan and in return they can export rice and textiles to Iran.
Tufail said that Iran and Pakistan have huge capacities to enhance bilateral trade. He called on future governments of Iran to follow the same policy if they are interested in boosting trade with Pakistan.