Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that promotion of intra-regional and inter-regional connectivity was a key to the socio-economic development of the people of this area and Iran has a major role to play along with Pakistan due to our geo-strategic locations.
This he said during his meeting with the Interior Minister of Iran Mr. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, who called on him at the Aiwan-e-Sadr today.
Mr. Mostafa Najjar was accompanied by Iranian Ambassador Mr. Mashaallah Shakeri, Mr. Mahdi Mohammadifard, Deputy Interior Minister, Mr. Hasan Ghadami, Deputy Minister and Head of Crisis Management Organization and Mr. Faghih, head of the Red Crescent Society.
Pak side included Senator Rehman Malik, Interior Minister, Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Secretary General to the President, Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir, Interior Secretary K. M. Siddiq Akber and other senior officials.
The President said that the two countries needed to further deepen cooperation in all areas particularly trade, energy, security, communication and infrastructure and forge a partnership to overcome the challenges in the way of realization of full existing potential of our equation.
He said that resource shortages, inadequate trade, smuggling, drug trafficking, border management and security were among the few challenges that the two countries needed to address together.
He said that Pakistan attaches high priority to early completion of Iran-Pakistan Gas pipeline and 1000 MW Taftan-Quetta Power Transmission line.
The President appreciated agreement on opening of Pakistani Consulate General in Bandar Abbas and establishment of a Pakistani Cultural Centre in Tehran.
He said that the agreement between the two countries to raise the bilateral trade to $10 billion was a double achievement. In this regard, currency swap agreement and initiatives such as export of meat from Pakistan to Iran can have an immediate impact, he continued.
The President said that militancy threatened regional and global peace and needed to be tackled collectively. Militancy, he said, thrived on deprivation of people. By providing our people education and economic opportunities, we can effectively take on the challenge of militancy on one hand and wean away our youth from falling trap into the hands of militants, he said.
Havoc caused by recent rains in various parts of Pakistan was also discussed during the meeting. The President appreciated support and assistance of Iranian brothers for the flood affectees. Mr. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar, during meeting, said that Iran would donate $100 million for the rehabilitation of the rain victims.
It may be recalled that during Prime Minister’s recent visit to Iran, the Interior Minister Mr. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar had said that he would visit Pakistan within a week along with a planeload of relief goods for the rain affected people of Pakistan.
Mr. Mostafa Mohammad Najjar thanked the President for meeting and conveyed sympathies of the Iranian leadership with the people of Pakistan over the devastation caused by the recent rains.
He said that Iran was equally eager for materialization of all mutual projects that have been agreed upon by the leadership of the two countries. He said that Iran would continue to partner with Pakistan to overcome existing challenges faced by the two countries.
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