New turn in Pak-Iran relations By: - Articles Detail
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New turn in Pak-Iran relations  Back
Contrary to the pressure from the United States and general expectation President Asif Ali Zardari reached Iran on two-day visit. He also met Supreme Leader and President and the two sides reiterate commitment to support each other for the welfare of their people.
In a net shell the commitments included: 1) to vigorously pursue the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as well as other major projects between the two countries, 2) to take full advantage of each other`s resources and expertise and 3) to working hand in hand in overcoming the challenges resulting from the emerging situation in the region.
President Zardari proposed a free trade agreement between the two countries, easing of visa restrictions and revisiting the tariff and nontariff trade barriers. In fact the two countries together with Turkey enjoy the potential to provide fresh impetus to the ECO that would strengthen bonds among the people and promote trade and socio-economic development in the region. Greater cooperation can help in overcoming border security.
`The international and regional players have tried in vain to prevent an expansion of Iran-Pakistan ties but the people have learnt how to act against enemies of Islam.
President Ahmadinejad said: `Building the gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan is a great and important event, and it serves the two nations` interests.
Talking to the president, the Iranian supreme leader said the much-delayed $7.5 billion Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project must go ahead despite US opposition. Accessing safe energy sources should be the first priority Pakistan as Iran is the only country that not only offers safe energy resources but also ready to help Pakistan. These include financial assistance for the construction of gas pipeline and an oil refinery at Gwadar.
Cognizant of this mutual commitment the United State is following carrot and stick policy. On one hand State Department say the US is providing Pakistan resources that can help in overcoming looming energy crisis and on the other hand it warns of imposition of economic sanctions from the US as well as the UN if it goes ahead with these projects.
While the global and regional players have been using all sorts of tactics to stop the two countries from this project, the people have learnt how to coupe up with the opponents. Iranian President Ahmadinejad said `Building the gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan is a great and important event, and it serves the interest of both the nations.
Experts have the consensus that external powers are trying their best to flare up animosity among Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan only to demolish Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline only to create justification for Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline. Their best efforts are to stop oil export from Iran to keep crude oil prices high in the global market.
While Pakistanis may appreciate the bold step of President Zadari, one of the opinions is that it is only an eye watch because the present assemblies will be dissolved shortly to ensure timely elections. Therefore, the fate pipeline will depend on the next elected government. They ask, if the present government was serious, why it didn't take such a step soon after coming into the power. They fear once the present government is gone the project will also go into the cold storage.