Iran-Pakistan relations have been fraught with friction due to cross-border attacks by Pakistani militants along their common border
Al Arabiya.net _ Agencies
Published in: May 18, 2023: 04:16 PM GST
Last updated: May 18, 2023: 04:48 PM GST
The leaders of Pakistan and Iran on Thursday inaugurated their first border market, officials said, as relations between the two countries warm.
Located in the remote village of Pachin in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, the market is the first of six to be built along the Pakistan-Iran border under an agreement signed by the two sides in 2012.
Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also inaugurated an electricity transmission line that will supply some remote Pakistani areas with Iranian electricity.
In a televised interview, Sharif, sitting next to Raisi, assured that Pakistan would do its utmost to improve security along the Iranian border. He added that the two sides agreed to strengthen trade and economic relations, and invited Raisi to visit the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
Iran-Pakistan relations have been fraught with disputes due to cross-border attacks by Pakistani militants along their common border.
Small separatist groups have been behind a long-running insurgency calling for Balochistan’s independence from the central government in Islamabad. Anti-Iranian Pakistani militants have also targeted Iran’s borders in recent years, increasing friction between the two countries.
This is the first visit of its kind since 2013, when the two countries signed an agreement allowing Pakistan to import Iranian gas despite US opposition. Tehran said at the time that “the West has no right to block the project.”
The agreement was not implemented due to US sanctions on Iran.