Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has called for the enhancement of bilateral trade transactions between Iran and Pakistan.
Pakistan and Iran should promote mutual trade and satisfy each other’s needs since we are brothers and neighbors and should strengthen mutual friendship, Zardari said in the inaugural ceremony of the final construction phase of the multi - billion - dollar Iran - Pakistan(IP) gas pipeline project on Monday.
The Pakistani president also said that the finalization of the project would have been impossible without the instructions of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei and the support by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
The peace pipeline [project] is a vital artery that can help Pakistan’s development and welfare, Zardari said, adding that Pakistan’s progress can ensure security in the world. The Iranian president and his Pakistani counterpart on Monday officially inaugurated the final construction phase of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project despite US pressure to dissuade Pakistan away from the project. The United States had threatened Pakistan with stringent sanctions if it went through the IP gas pipeline project. On March 2, Zardari dismissed the US threats and stressed that his government would continue to pursue the construction of the gas pipeline, reiterating that Islamabad would not stop the project at any cost. Pakistan faces a crushing energy crisis, which has caused difficulties in financing the pipeline, whose tranche on Pakistani soil stretches from the border between the two countries to Nawabshah region. Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its territory.