Pakistan’s energy security is Iran’s responsibility: Rouhani

ISLAMABAD: President of Islamic Republic of Iran Dr Hassan Rouhani Saturday assured the Government of Pakistan that provision of its energy security was Iran’s responsibility besides reiterating bilateral commitment to take volume of trade to US$ 5 billion within next five years.

“In the presence of distinguished Prime Minister of Pakistan, the officials, the authorities, tradesmen, entrepreneurs and delegates, I announce that Iran is responsible for provision of Pakistan’s energy security. This is our commitment in the area of electricity. This is our commitment in the area of gas. Of course, we have to fulfil our responsibility,” the Iranian President said in translated comment while addressing Pakistan-Iran Joint Business Forum here.

The landmark announcement was received among the audience with applause since Pakistan’s government was also striving hard to steer the country of energy crisis.

Organized by Ministry of Commerce, the Forum was also addressed by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif who reiterated his government’s resolve to inject around 12,000 MW of electricity by 2018 and another 13,000 afterwards as country was actively executing various power projects.

He also apprised the audience of his government’s desire to bring prosperity not only in Pakistan but the whole region through his vision of regional integration.

Rouhani said gas pipeline has reached Pakistani border and bilateral cooperation for provision of electricity and gas would surely satisfy Pakistan’s needs in the energy sector.

Both the leaders observed that there existed immense potential to harness the bilateral ties in the fields of trade, investment, culture and science and technology; however, the bilateral trade volume was far below that needed to be raised up to the mark.

Iranian President, who reached here Friday on two-day visit along with a high level delegation, also drew attention of both the countries to complement each other as in today’s era the development of states was inter-linked.

He highlighted the areas in which his country was enormously rich like gas, electricity, technical education, engineering besides construction of roads, dams and rail network.

Mentioning the bilateral ties rooted in the historic, cultural and religious bonds, Dr Rouhani said both the countries should establish a partnership in the fields of transit and tourism.

He said Iranian economy was resistive that was why it survived despite remarkable decrease in the oil prices which affected many oil exporting countries.

He said Iran’s policy was to develop constructive engagement with the neighboring countries especially the countries like Pakistan for having several commonalities.

Seconding the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s remarks, Rouhani said Allama Iqbal was revered in Iran just like Hafiz Sherazi and Sheikh Saadi had respect among Pakistanis.

The Iranian President, who earlier also met Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif, lauded the struggle of Pakistan Army for peace in the country and the achievements it had made.

Rouhani suggested that both the brotherly countries should enhance cooperation in banking sector besides enhancing role of private sector by engaging in the fields of trade, economy and academics. APP