Supreme Leader Regrets over Sectarian Killings in Pakistan
Fars NA - (Feb 27, 2013) Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a meeting with visiting Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari voiced deep regret over the recent massacres in neighboring Pakistan, and urged Islamabad to take decisive action in response to put an end to such moves, warning that division among Muslims has long been a Zionist goal.
During the meeting here in Tehran on Wednesday, the Supreme Leader described sectarian strife in Pakistan as a dangerous microbe sent to Pakistan from abroad, and added, “The sectarian massacre in Pakistan is really regrettable, and decisive action needs to be taken in order not to allow this issue to disturb Pakistan’s national unity.”
Meantime, he expressed confidence in the ability of the Pakistani government to overcome this problem, and hoped that Zardari’s government would embrace success in “consolidating religious and ethnic unity and Pakistan’s progress”.
The Supreme Leader cautioned that large parts of problems in the Muslim community have been sown and stirred by enemies of Islam, and said reviving and activating the human, natural and geographical capabilities and abilities of the Muslim world will extend a major help to the settlement of these problems.
Elsewhere, Ayatollah Khamenei stressed the need for the Muslim nations to reinvigorate and develop their relations, and warned, “Sowing discord and division among the Islamic Ummah (community) has been proved to be the planned goal of the Zionists and other arrogant states.”
He noted the brotherly bonds between Iran and Pakistan, and said, “We seriously believe that the two countries’ economic, infrastructural, political, social and security ties should be reinvigorated.”
The Iranian Leader also pointed to the gas pipeline which is due to take Iran’s rich gas reserves to Pakistan as a crucially important instance of Tehran-Islamabad cooperation, and called for ignoring the opposition shown by certain actors to the development of Iran-Pakistan relations.
He reminded Pakistan’s urgent need to stable and secure energy resources, similar to every other country, and added, “They Islamic Republic of Iran is the only country in the region which enjoys secure energy resources and we are ready to supply Pakistan’s need in this ground.”
President Zardari arrived in Tehran earlier today to discuss bilateral ties and regional developments with senior Iranian officials.
The Pakistani president, who is heading a high-ranking delegation to Iran, met with his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the afternoon and is due to attend a dinner banquet thrown in his honor by President Ahmadinejad.
Last week, an advisor to the Pakistani prime minister on petroleum and natural resources said President Zardari “would pay a visit to Iran” in a bid to finalize a deal on Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project as the two countries’ oil ministers inaugurated construction of the 781-kilometer-long Pakistani side of the gas line.
The Pakistani official also stated that the project would inaugurate on due time, which is December 2014.
On Wednesday, Iranian and Pakistani oil ministers inaugurated construction of the 781 km of Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline in Pakistan’s soil.
An Iranian-Pakistani joint contractor has been commissioned to begin construction of the IP gas pipeline.
The Iranian oil minister and his accompanying delegation agreed with their Pakistani counterpart to set up a joint contracting company between the two countries in a bid to complete the construction of the IP gas pipeline in next 15 months.
The IP gas pipeline stretches from Iran-Pakistan border to Navabshah region in Pakistan and it covers 781 km of the total 1,881 km of the pipeline.
Apart from it, both countries also discussed the finances involved in the project. The interest rate for Iran’s 500-million-dollar loan to Pakistan and the date for the start of the repayment of the loan by Pakistan were among other topics in the discussions.
Demand for natural gas in Pakistan has outstripped supply in recent years, putting existing reserves under immense pressure.
The 2700-kilometer long pipeline was to supply gas for Pakistan and India which are suffering a lack of energy sources, but India has evaded talks. In 2011, Iran and Pakistan declared they would finalize the agreement bilaterally if India continued to be absent in the meeting.