President stresses early completion of Pak-Iran gas pipeline | Pakistan Today

President stresses early completion of Pak-Iran gas pipeline

President Asif Ali Zardari on Wednesday said Pakistan attached great importance to the early completion of Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline project in view of the energy crisis in the country.
The President called for stepping up efforts for early completion of all bilateral projects between Pakistan and Iran during a meeting with Iranian Majlise Shura Speaker Ali Ardeshir Larijani at Bilawal House.
Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President during the meeting reiterated Pakistan’s commitment to implement all mega projects expeditiously, including the gas pipeline, the 1,000 MW Taftan-Quetta transmission line, 400 MW Gwadar power supply project, Noshki-Dalbandin highway and up-gradation of the Quetta-Taftan track.
Zardari stressed upon the need for devising appropriate mechanisms to finance these critical projects.
The Iranian dignitary is visiting Pakistan for participation in the meeting of Parliamentary Assembly of the ECO countries in Islamabad.
The President lauded the setting up of the Parliamentary Assembly of the ECO and expressed hope that by promoting interaction among elected representatives, the forum would help strengthen democracies in member countries and promote people-to-people contacts.
He hoped that it would also enable parliamentarians identify new avenues of cooperation among ECO countries.
The spokesperson said that in addition to Pakistan-Iran bilateral ties focusing on trade and commerce between the two countries, the regional situation was also discussed during the meeting.
The President called for employing the collective strength of Muslims and the need to shun violence in meeting challenges facing the region. We have to take control of our own affairs and find our own solutions to problems, he added.
The President reiterated Pakistan’s support for an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led reconciliation process and said that the release of prisoners recently by Pakistan proved its sincerity. He also called for greater coordination between the two countries for promoting peace and stability in the country.
He said that Pakistan and Iran enjoyed deep-rooted fraternal relations and the people of Pakistan had special attachment with their Iranian brethren and highly valued ties with them.
The President underscored the need for concrete measures to further promote mutual cooperation and to take full advantage of historical, cultural and brotherly ties of the people of the two countries.
Noting the current low level of bilateral trade, he emphasised the need for taking measures to realise the true potential of bilateral trade. He said the existing regime of tariff barriers that was adversely impacting economic interaction needed to be revisited.
Zardari welcomed the call by parliamentarians to focus on enhancement of trade and hoped that the ECO Container Train would boost cargo trade not only between the two countries but in the region as a whole. He said that improved visa facilitation, opening of new border posts at Mand-Pishin and Gabd-Reemdan and enhancing connectivity were critical for greater economic interaction between the two countries.
Zardari also felicitated the visiting Iranian delegation on their National Day, which was recently celebrated and asked Ali Larijani to convey his greetings and regards to the Supreme Leader and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Ali Larijani was accompanied by Shaheen Mohammad Sadeghi,
Member Parliament and Head of presiding Board of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly, Gholamreza Asadullahei, member Parliament and Head of Iran-Pakistan Friendship Group, Mehdi Sanaei, Member Parliament and National Security and Foreign Policy Commissioner, Haleema Aali, Member of Parliament, Mohammad Jaffery, Advisor and Head of the Speaker’s Secretariat of Islamic Consultative Assembly, Alireza Haghighian, Ambassador of Iran to Pakistan and others. The Pakistani side included Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, former premier Yusuf Raza Gillani and PPP Secretary General M Salman Faruqui.

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