Additional crossing points boost people-to people ties between Pakistan-Iran: Experts

Islamabad: The foreign policy experts on Wednesday lauded the opening of the additional border crossing points between Pakistan and Iran which would enhance people-to-people contacts and facilitate the border movement.

The experts made the remarks at a special event organized by the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) in Collaboration with the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in connection with 76 Years of Pakistan and Iran Diplomatic Relations.

Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran to Pakistan Sayed Mohammad Ali Hosseini underscored that solidarity between the two fraternal neighboring countries was based on various commonalities and linkages which paved the way for a stronger relationship.

“The volume of trade exchanges between the two countries will reach more than two billion dollars this year,” the envoy added.

Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran Rahim Hayat Qureshi underscored that the relations between Pakistan and Iran had remained strong throughout history.

The envoy mentioned that Iran and Pakistan enjoyed linguistic bonds and the Persian language had a strong influence in South Asia.

While talking about the economic ties, he highlighted that MoUs for the establishment of six border markets had been signed.

Pakistan’s Former Ambassador to Iran Ambassador Riffat Masood in her remarks said that “our neighborhood is important” and in this context, Pakistan and Iran must make efforts towards knowing each other better.

She said that we must focus on the present and also recognize that there are inter-dependencies between Iran and Pakistan.

Stressing the importance of border trade, she said that we must cooperate in this area further as trade with Iran will bring more dividends to Pakistan.

Director CAMEA Amina Khan while dilating on the subject, stated that Pakistan and Iran relations were time-tested and based on bonds of brotherhood, mutual respect, and support for each other in times of difficulty.

She added that Pakistan and Iran relations were all-encompassing and that interests of the two countries converged broadly — including on the situation in Afghanistan, fight against terrorism, and relations with China in the context of regional connectivity.

Speaking on the occasion, DG ISSI Ambassador Sohail Mahmood stated that while Pakistan-Iran diplomatic relations were 76 years old, the ties between the people of Pakistan and Iran went back centuries, based on immutable bonds of common faith, history and linguistic affinities.

The cultural dimension was the most manifest, as could be seen in a strong Persian imprint on Pakistan’s civilizational heritage, he said and added that Pakistan-Iran ties were reinforced by a shared commitment to deepen the relationship in its multiple aspects.

Ambassador Khalid Mahmood, in his concluding remarks, said that Iran has been a time-tested friend and the bonds of brotherhood continue to strengthen. It was important to accelerate the pace of the initiatives aimed at expanding economic engagement. He concluded that “this is a precious relationship and we must guard it as it reflects the aspirations of the people.