Pakistan, Iran to strengthen ties: Maleeha

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Pakistan must be cognisant that Iran's offering may be a political move to placate matters resulting from its decision to work with India.

Sources privy to Pakistan High Commission in India, the issue was raised with Ministry of External Affairs and demanded the government to keep a check on security agencies' authorities. "Our relations with India, just like Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia, are not against Islamabad as we understand Pakistan's relations with Saudi Arabia are not against Iran". "We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar", Zarif, who is on a three-day visit to Pakistan, said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) on Monday, according to the daily. While Mahmood said that Pakistani diplomats and other staff had faced intimidation on at least 18 occasions between March 7 and 9, Gokhale strongly made the point that Indian diplomats were being subjected to far worse treatment + in Islamabad. Although, a congenial relationship between both countries is imperative for regional stability, only after CPEC is managed well should Pakistan participate in the Chabahar project as it could provide Pakistan a regional "leg-up" in economic planning.

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

Iran has created quite the stir in the Indian diplomatic circles with its foreign minister Javad Zarif on Tuesday offering Pakistan and China participation in its strategic Chabahar port, which India is developing.

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

"We are taking measures to do that and there is an open invitation to Pakistan to participate in that", Zarif said. In November 2017, India delievered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port. These regions need to be linked by sea and land routes, he said.

Zarif's vision for better Pakistan-Iran ties envisaged realisation of the long-delayed Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, establishment of banking ties and signing a free trade agreement.

In this context, India's not likely to be pleased with the Iranian foreign minister's comments.