Pakistan trying to promote trade relations with Iran: Sartaj

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ISLAMABAD, June 13 (APP): Prime Minister’s Advisor on Foreign Affairs
Sartaj Aziz Monday said Pakistan was trying to promote trade relations
with Iran following the lifting of international sanctions.

Responding to an adjournment motion moved by MQM’s Muhammad
Atteeq Shaikh in the Senate, he said a memorandum of understanding (MoU) had already been inked for declaring Gwadar and Chah Bahar as sister ports. There was a suggestion to establish a railway link between Gwadar and Chah Bahar, he added.

He said the region needed more ports and there would be no threat to Gwadar Port from Chah Bahar Port. Gwadar Port, he said, would be completed soon and it would progress rapidly if China shifted its 10 per cent trade to it.

Sartaj said the deep water port of Gwadar had more importance than
the Iranian Chah Bahar Port. It would progress by leaps and bounds when China would start its trade through it, he added.

As per reports, China is contemplating to shift 17 per cent oil imports to Gwadar.

The Advisor brushed aside the impression that work on the Gwadar
Port was going slow. Sufficient work on the port had been done during
the last one year.

He said Pakistan was concentrating on maintaining physical contacts
with neighbouring countries. Pakistan had provided various facilities
for Afghan Transit Trade and work was going on several road projects
between the two countries.

Sartaj Aziz said rail track from Peshawar to Jalalabad and from
Chaman to Spin Buldak was also under consideration.
He said Pakistan had countered the address of Indian Prime Minister
Narendera Modi to the American Congress. Evidences of activities of Indian inelligence agency RAW (Research and Analysis) inside Pakistan were being collected for preparing a dossier, he added.

Sartaj Aziz said India would not get exemptions for inclusion in
the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).

Pakistan, he said, had considered opinion that criteria based approach was imperative for including non-NPT countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group. Its point of view had been authenticated by various countries and the result would be in favour of Pakistan, he added.

Regarding increasing US-India relations, he said there was a geo-political factor behind it especially to impede Chinese increasing influence. Further actions would be taken in that regard, he added.
He said India was accusing Pakistan of non-state actors while
the later had evidence of RAW’s involvement in Balochistan.

Responding to the queries of Senate Chairman, the Advisor said
Pakistan was decreasing its dependence on foreign aid.

Regarding India-US military cooperation, he said imbalance in the
region must not be increased. Pakistan had safeguarded its national
interests. Besides facing a seven times big enemy, Pakistan was
successfully countering terrorism. “Our efforts for elimination
of terrorism are exemplary.”