QUETTA: Iranian Consul General Muhammad Rafie has said that the volume of trade between Pakistan and Iran has reached the mark of $1.5 billion per year and his country wants it to increase to a record level of $5bn.

Speaking at a ceremony held here on Sunday to mark the 39 anniversary of Islamic Revolution in Iran, he recalled that Pakistan was the first country to have officially welcomed regime change and Islamic revolution in his country.

“The two nations have traditional, religious and trade relations spread over decades,” he said. “Pakistan and Iran share more than 1,000km-long border and both countries have strategic importance in the region in geopolitical and economic terms.”

Talking about bilateral trade via Balochistan, the Iranian diplomat said the province was a trade gateway for the two countries. He said the Pak-Iran Joint Chamber of Commerce was paving way for boosting bilateral trade and recalled that during the last session of the chamber in Zahidan, the two countries had signed various trade deals. Mr Rafie said trade between Iran and Pakistan was bringing people of the two countries close to each other.

About operations against terrorism, he said Pakistani and Iranian security forces were taking joint measures to prevent terrorist attacks and bring peace and stability to the region.

“Other neighbours will also have to play an active role in bringing peace to the region because we all have to take positive steps for the prosperity of the people of our region,” the Iranian diplomat said.

Prominent among those who attended the ceremony were Governor of Balochistan Muhammad Khan Achakzai, provin­cial Minister for Communication and Works Mir Asim Kurd, Pakistan Peoples Party leader Haji Ali Madad Jattak, Jamaat-i-Islami leader Maulana Abdul Haq Hashmi and Balochistan National Party-Mengal vice president Abdul Wali Kakar.

Published in Dawn, February 12th, 2018

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