Zarif opens Iran-Pakistan business forum in Karachi

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Join us, don't fight us: Iran invites Pakistan to be part of Chabahar project with India

The Iranian top diplomat, who left Tehran for Islamabad on Sunday afternoon heading a 30-strong politico-economic delegation, arrived in Karachi on the second day of his visit to Pakistan on Tuesday.

Islamabad, Mar 13 Pakistan has summoned India's Deputy High Commissioner J P Singh over the alleged harassment of officials and families of the Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi, according to Pakistan Foreign Affairs Ministry.

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

We have also offered Pakistan and China to participate in Chahbahar", Zarif said while delivering a lecture at the Institute of Strategic Studies Islamabad (ISSI) that had been held to commemorate 70th anniversary of establishment of Pak-Iran diplomatic relations.

During his meeting with Zarif, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi thanked the Iranian leadership for its "steadfast support" to the struggle of the Kashmiris. "We have also invited Pakistan and China to participate in Chabahar", said Zarif.

The invitation extended to Pakistan by the Iranian foreign minister comes at the back of Indian officials repeatedly stating that the port is of strategic importance to India as it will allow India to bypass Pakistan in accessing Afghanistan and central Asia. Iran's invitation to Pakistan to help develop its Chabahar seaport project brings good tidings and may be the most pivotal yet in terms of further strengthening this relationship. In November past year, India delivered the first consignment of wheat to Afghanistan through the Chabahar Port. Although the partnership can work to promote friendly ties between the two countries, there are heavy considerations for Pakistan to make before it agrees to be a part of the Chabahar project. He also said that Gwadar Port and Chabahar Port needed to be linked through sea and land routes for development of deprived Eastern and South-eastern Iran and South Western Pakistan.

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

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