Iran backs Kashmir cause while telling Pakistan to join Chabahar project

Pakistan       by Muhammad Irfan | Published

"I hope that they (Saudis) have the same feeling and be ready to bridge the differences", Zarif said in a press conference in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Zarif's visit to Pakistan will greatly contribute to building trust and expanding bilateral cooperation between Tehran and Islamabad, she said. The relations suffered more setbacks as 464 Iranian pilgrims were crushed to death in a stampede in Mecca in September 2015.

Zarif also added that the Chahbahar should be liked with with the Gwadar Port as he sought to allay concerns here over Indian involvement in the Iranian port.

Iran has invited Pakistan and China to participate in the strategic Chabahar Port and said the initiative is not aimed at "strangulating" or "encircling" anybody, a media report, on Tuesday, quoted visiting Iranian foreign minister as saying.

"We offered to participate in the China-Pakistan economic corridor".

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The invitation extended to Pakistan by the Iranian foreign minister comes at the back of Indian officials repeatedly stating that the port is of strategic importance to India as it will allow India to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and central Asia. In November past year, India delivered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port. "We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar", he said.

"We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that", Zarif said.

On the first day of his visit to Islamabad on Monday, Mr. Zarif held meetings with Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, his Pakistani counterpart Minister for Foreign Affairs Khawaja Muhammad Asif, the Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and Pakistani Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal. Pakistan has in the past tried to mediate between Saudi Arabia and Qatar and Saudi Arabia and Iran, but could not convince Riyadh to accept its good offices.

Iran and Pakistan have great relations that is going to be better in the future, said the representative of Pakistan in the UN.

Lodhi also said that the people of Pakistan have great admiration for the people of Iran.

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