Sunday, January 11, 2015

Concrete steps needed to improve security at Pak-Iran border: Iranian governor

By Shehzad Baloch

January 11, 2015
Governor of Sistan-Baluchistan Aaqai Ali Osat Hashemi addressing members of Balochistan Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Quetta on Saturday. PHOTO: INP

QUETTA: With tensions between Iran and Pakistan running high in recent times with several conflicts between security forces on both sides and militants along the 909km long border, the Iran on Saturday called for concrete steps to boost security to put an end to terrorism, smuggling in the area.

The governor of Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran, Aaqai Ali Osat Hashemi, on Saturday met with Balochistan Home Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani and the Inspector General of Balochistan Police Mohammaed Alimesh in Quetta. They deliberated on the security situation along the border where Iranian forces, pursuing militants, has clashed with Pakistani forces.

Hashemi said there was a need to take concrete steps in order to improve the security at the border between Iran and Pakistan.

“Pakistan and Iran are brotherly countries. Either country needs to strengthen the friendship by increasing the size of trade besides the cooperation in border security,” he told the Pakistani officials.

“By increasing the size of trade would improve the economy of the people,” he said. “It is a good omen that both officials hold frequent meetings to discuss the security and trade situation between the two countries.”

Durrani said that measures need to be put in place to prosecute criminals. “Both countries need to devise a strategy under which criminal elements do not get space in either country.”

“There is need to extend the cooperation of handing over the criminals. The heinous criminals should be handed over to the country to which he belongs,” Home Secretary proposed.

Iranian Council General Yaha Hassan, DIG Frontier Corps (FC) Brigadier Mohammed Tahir, Director FIA Balochistan Abdul Qadir Qayyum, DIG Crimes Mohammed Ayub, DIG Crime Branch Dr. Mujeeb Ur Rehman and other officials from Balochistan attended the meeting.

Improving bilateral trade

The Iranian Governor also visited the Balochistan Chamber and Commerce Quetta where he told traders and the business community that Iran was interested in strengthening ties with Pakistan and increasing the size of trade between the two countries.

Hashemi said Iran wants to increase the size of its trade from $100 million to $5 billion.

“The Iranian Consulate and Balochistan government are working closely to ensure the smooth implementation on several projects in energy and public sectors,” he said. “We will also welcome Pakistan investors in Iran.”

The President of Balochistan Chamber of Commerce had apprised the Governor about the problems traders face in bordering areas of Pakistan and Iran. He presented several demands including extension of visa duration, construction of stock stores on the Iranian side, relief on petrol prices and relaxing the border for traders.

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