Iran, Pakistan govt. heads inaugurate border projects, stressing expansion of ties

May 19, 2023 - 13:13

TEHRAN - Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday inaugurated the Mand-Pishin border market and the 100-MW Polan-Gabd electricity transmission line with the aim of expanding mutual ties, IRNA reported.

The inauguration ceremony of the mentioned projects was attended by senior officials from both sides including Pakistani Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Power Minister Khurram Dastagir, and the country’s Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb.

After the inauguration of the projects, Raisi and Shehbaz held talks at the Pishin-Mand border crossing in Sistan-Baluchestan province to discuss the strengthening of trade cooperation. This was the third meeting between the heads of the two countries over the past year.

Speaking in this meeting, Raisi considered the construction of border markets and electricity exchange lines between Iran and Pakistan as another manifestation of the two counties’ determination for strengthening their relations.

He said that six markets are planned to be launched on the border between Iran and Pakistan to help boost employment and trade between the two countries.

Stating that the level of trade relations between Iran and Pakistan is far from the desired point, he emphasized the readiness of the Islamic Republic of Iran to develop relations with Pakistan in various commercial, industrial, agricultural, and science and technology sectors.

Raisi in his remarks, considered the presence of the prime minister of Pakistan and the accompanying delegation at the border with Iran as a sign of the stability and security in the Islamic Republic.

Sharif for his part expressed satisfaction with the inauguration of the projects, saying that in the history of Iran and Pakistan, the two nations have always enjoyed brotherly and friendly relations.

He added that cooperation between the two countries is expected to increase at all levels.

President Raisi traveled to the southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province on Thursday to both meet the Pakistani PM and to inaugurate the mentioned infrastructure projects in the region.

The Mand-Pishin border sustenance marketplace is expected to provide a thriving platform for increasing cross-border trade, fostering economic growth, and opening up new avenues of opportunity for local businesses.

The Polan-Gabd electricity transmission project is also an effective step to overcome the lack of energy in Pakistan's Baluchistan region; The Islamic Republic’s electricity export to Pakistan will increase to 203 megawatts with the inauguration of this project.

The two leaders also planted a sapling on the premises of the border market as a gesture to stride forward in the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

“The joint inauguration is a manifestation of the strong commitment of Pakistan and Iran to uplift the welfare of residents of the neighboring provinces of Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan and Pakistan’s Baluchistan,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office said in a statement.


Photo: President Raisi (R) and Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif

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