'Pakistan ready to play constructive role between Iran and Saudi Arabia,' Imran Khan tells Iran envoy

Published August 4, 2018
Iranian ambassador meets PTI chief in Banigala on Saturday. — Photo courtesy PTI
Iranian ambassador meets PTI chief in Banigala on Saturday. — Photo courtesy PTI

Pakistan is ready to play a constructive and positive role between Iran and Saudi Arabia, prime minister-in-waiting Imran Khan told Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost on Saturday.

Sunni powerhouse Saudi Arabia and Iran, the predominant Shia power, have a long history of rivalry. They today stand on opposing sides of conflicts in the Middle East, from Syria to Yemen.

The Iranian envoy had called on the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) chairman at his Banigala residence to congratulate him on his party's victory in the 2018 general elections, a press release issued by the party said.

Ambassador Honardoost also conveyed congratulatory wishes from Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani.

Iran is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in regional development, and is also keen to expand trade with Pakistan, the envoy told Khan.

He also expressed his country's desire to negotiate with Pakistan on the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project, adding that the pipeline could “change the future of Pakistan”, the PTI statement said.

While observing that the situation in the region is highly sensitive, Honardoost said: "Iran will welcome Pakistan's suggestions to ensure peace in the region."

Imran Khan thanked the Iranian envoy for the wishes conveyed by his government, and reiterated Pakistan’s desire to trade with "all regional neighbours, including Iran", said the press release.

‘‘Iran’s role in protecting its integrity is commendable,” the expected prime minister said.

Khan told the envoy he wished to visit Iran and see its historical sites one day.

PTI leaders Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Shireen Mazari, and Naeemul Haq were also present at the Banigala meeting.

The Iranian ambassador is one of many foreign dignitaries to have visited Khan in recent days. The envoys of Britain, China, Saudi Arabia, Japan and the United Arab Emirates have all called on the PTI chairman since the election results arrived.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi also telephoned Imran Khan to congratulate him over his party's victory, saying that India was "ready to enter a new era of relations with Pakistan," according to a PTI statement.

US congresswoman phones Khan

Also on Saturday, United States Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee called Imran Khan and congratulated him over his party's victory in the elections.

The conversation between the two was arranged through party leader Imran Ismail, a statement issued by PTI's Central Media Department said.

Lee, who heads the Pakistani caucus in Congress, conveyed good wishes for the PTI government and ensured her support and cooperation for the new government.

She expressed the desire to visit Pakistan along with a delegation after the formation of the new government, the PTI statement said.

Khan thanked the Democratic congresswoman for her wishes and welcomed her plans to visit Pakistan.

Congresswoman Lee is considered one of the few voices in the US Congress still speaking up for Pakistan.

Read: Imran Khan’s opportunity with America

Opinion

Window of opportunity
05 Mar 2021

Window of opportunity

How do we ensure growth revival built on a sustainable, efficient and stable foundation?
March for freedom
Updated 05 Mar 2021

March for freedom

Those demanding ‘azadi’ are moving society forward.
More of the same
Updated 04 Mar 2021

More of the same

Civil society groups and political parties tend to treat their paid employees as casual labour.

Editorial

Ravi project
Updated 05 Mar 2021

Ravi project

THE assault by an enraged group of farmers on a provincial revenue team assigned to acquire land for the...
05 Mar 2021

Climate change

PAKISTAN received much less rainfall in January 2021 as compared to previous years, making it the 17th driest month...
05 Mar 2021

Antimicrobial resistance

WITH the focus on Covid-19, many health issues, though otherwise recognised as serious medical problems, tend to be...
04 Mar 2021

Senate upset

THE Senate election results have delivered a stunning blow to the PTI. While the ruling party has seen an increase ...
ME ‘security pact’
Updated 04 Mar 2021

ME ‘security pact’

THERE has been an overflowing of bonhomie between the Gulf Arabs and Israel over the past few months, much of it...
04 Mar 2021

Students’ protest

A GROUP of university students in Karachi and Hyderabad caught the media’s attention when they announced a...