ISLAMABAD: The Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that Tehran is willing to mediate between Pakistan and India over the long-standing issue of Kashmir if requested.
“Any conflict or tension between the two countries [Pakistan and India] will hinder the progress and development of both the countries but will also impact upon the economies of other regional countries,” said Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost during an interview.
Iran has also offered its assistance to attain peace and tranquility in the region.
Commenting on Pak-Iran trade ties, Honardoost said that a Free Trade Agreement draft has been signed between the two nations and it will soon be operative to enhance two-way business and trade engagements.
“Our future is bright after the removal of impediments. Hopefully, our trade relations would continue to grow,” he remarked.
Concerned officials from both the countries are also expected to meet in an upcoming 20th round of Pak-Iran Joint Economic Commission (JEC) soon to further strengthen trade ties between the two, he added.
Replying to a question about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Honardoost said the project was not only a game-changer for the region but would be a unifying force for the countries in it.
The ambassador termed the Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) an important group for the Muslim world and underlined the need to widen its sphere by adding all Islamic countries into its fold.
“As part of this family, we should try to have more interaction. Many Islamic countries right now are in a chaotic situation… We should try to improve the situation. The responsibility of this issue is on the shoulders of the big and important Islamic countries like Iran and Pakistan”.
He was confident that “more interaction and cooperation between the biggest Islamic countries can help remove tension between them [Muslim countries].”
When asked if Iran was interested in joining Saudi Arab’s Islamic coalition, Honardoost said Iran has already announced its desire to join the alliance since it firmly believes that the problems being faced by the Muslim world should be resolved mutually.