Pakistan and Iran will discuss gas pipeline today
By Shaukat Piracha
ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri will hold wide-ranging talks with his Iranian counterpart Dr Kamal Kharazi in Tehran today (Monday), with particular focus on Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline, Pakistan-India peace process, the situation in Iraq, elections in Afghanistan and the non-proliferation issue.
Official sources told Daily Times that Mr Kasuri, who arrived in Tehran from London late on Sunday evening, would also meet Iranian President Muhammad Khatami, former president Hashmi Rafsanjani, and Supreme National Security Council Secretary Hassan Roohani. Mr Kasuri will return to Pakistan tomorrow (Tuesday).
“There seems substantial progress on the proposed Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline during Dr Kharazi’s recent Indian visit. Dr Kharazi will brief Mr Kasuri about his discussions with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Foreign Minister Natwar Singh about the gas pipeline,” sources said. They said there would be substantial discussion on the promotion of bilateral economic and commercial relations, particularly easing border trade between the two countries. “Pakistan and Iran have a deep interest in peace in Afghanistan and they will discuss the forthcoming elections in the war-torn country,” sources said.
Sources said it was expected that Mr Kasuri would brief Iranian leaders about the ongoing peace process between Pakistan and India,” they added. Sources said the two sides would also discuss ongoing ‘confrontation’ between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency on the non-proliferation issue.