Pakistan’s president calls for more joint ventures with Iran
Press TV - (Feb 21, 2013) Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has called for an increase in joint ventures between his country and Iran in various areas, particularly in the energy sector.
“Pakistan seeks to increase major and joint projects, particularly in the energy sector, all over Pakistan with the help of Iran,” Zardari said on Wednesday.
He made the remarks in a meeting with Iran’s Oil Minister Rostam Qasemi in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, where they discussed mutual cooperation in the energy sector.
According to President Zardari’s spokesman, Farhatullah Babar, the Pakistani president underlined the enhancement of Iran-Pakistan interaction and cooperation in all areas and called for the speedy implementation of a railroad project between Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states.
ECO is an intergovernmental regional organization established in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey with the aim of promoting economic, technical and cultural cooperation among member states.
The Pakistani president also expressed satisfaction over the security agreement recently signed between Tehran and Islamabad and said the expansion of bilateral cooperation in the field of border security will widely contribute to the fight against terrorism, border crimes, illegal trade and drug trafficking.
Earlier on Monday, the interior ministers of Iran and Pakistan signed a security agreement, which included the establishment of sustainable security and stability in the region, joint security measures against bandits and drug traffickers, the expansion of bilateral relations, boosting border security, the fight against arms and human trafficking and the exchange of security information between the two countries.
Qasemi arrived in Pakistan on Tuesday to discuss the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline with Pakistani officials.
After the negotiations, Iranian and Pakistani officials agreed to provide security for the pipeline. According to the deal, an Iranian-Pakistani consortium will complete the process of constructing the pipeline in 15 months.
On Wednesday, the consortium started the construction of the Pakistani section of the pipeline, which stretches from the border between the two countries to Navabshah region in Pakistan and covers 781 kilometers (km) of the total 1,881-km length of the pipeline.
The pipeline, projected to cost about USD 1.2-1.5 billion, would enable the export of 21.5 million cubic meters of Iran’s natural gas to Pakistan on a daily basis.
Iran has already built more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.