ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iran will inaugurate the Pishin-Mand border crossing point on Wednesday (today) for facilitating trade.
Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister for West Asia Rasoul Mousavi announced on Twitter the opening of the additional border crossing, which would be the third between the two countries.
The border crossing would be opened in the presence of Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, who arrived in Iran on a three-day visit.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had during his visit to Pakistan last November urged Pakistani authorities to open the Pishin-Mand border.
The two countries had in December inaugurated the Rimadan-Gabd border gateway.
Pakistan and Iran share a 959-km-long border. However, trade between the two countries has been negligible due to sanctions on Iran. The volume of bilateral trade is currently $359 million.
The two countries believe that setting up of border markets can help improve bilateral trade.
FM Qureshi soon after reaching Tehran tweeted that Iran had agreed to end restrictions on citrus imports from Pakistan.
“Always a pleasure to be in #Iran and I am pleased to share some good news for our citrus farmers. Following discussions, happy to announce that Iran has lifted restrictions on the import of Pakistan’s kinnow,” he said.
Mr Qureshi would, during his stay in Iran, meet with his counterpart Mr Zarif, President Hassan Rouhani, and Majlis Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf.
“During the delegation-level talks, the two Foreign Ministers would review bilateral relations with a view to further deepening cooperation in diverse fields,” the Foreign Office said.
“The two sides will discuss regional security situation including the latest developments in the Afghan Peace Process and the Jammu & Kashmir dispute. They will also deliberate on strengthening regional cooperation under the umbrella of Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO),” it added.
Meanwhile, Waheed Ahmed, the chief patron of the All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters Importers Association, welcomed the announcement made by FM Qureshi for citrus farmers.
In a tweet, he said Iran was a big market for Pakistan’s kinnow and hoped the move would help boost bilateral legal trade between the two countries. “We hope that other trade barriers will also be removed soon,” he said.
Published in Dawn, April 21st, 2021