Pakistani PM urges boost in trade with Iran to $10bn

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf says Islamabad will go ahead with its multibillion dollar projects with Iran, calling for immediate steps to lift the ceiling of the bilateral trade to $10 billion, Press TV reports.

In a meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Alireza Haqiqian, the Pakistani premier said both countries should ensure the expeditious implementation of bilateral projects including the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline and other electricity projects.

Tehran and Islamabad have repeatedly stressed the importance of constructing the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline despite the pressures from the United States.

The multi-billion-dollar gas pipeline is aimed at exporting a daily amount of 21.5 million cubic meters (or 8.7 billion cubic meters per year) of the Iranian natural gas to Pakistan.

The maximum daily gas transfer capacity of the 56-inch pipeline which runs over 900 km of Iran’s soil from Asalouyeh in Bushehr Province to the city of Iranshahr in Sistan and Baluchestan Province is 110 million cubic meters.

Iran has already constructed more than 900 kilometers of the pipeline on its soil.

The Pakistani premier further said that his country’s relations with Iran were deeply rooted in historical, cultural and religious commonalities.

He also pointed to the forthcoming 16th summit of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) in Tehran and added that Pakistan looked forward to working closely with Iran for a positive outcome of the summit to uphold the NAM principles.

The 16th summit of the NAM member states will be held in the Iranian capital on August 26-31.

NAM, an international organization with 120 member states and 21 observer countries, is considered as not formally aligned with or against any major power bloc.

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