Iran invites Pakistan, China to join India in Chabahar port project


'Iran is a very important neighbor of Pakistan, and Pakistan and Iran have always enjoyed very good relations; and we are trying now to strengthen that relationship through [not only] trade [and] economic relationship but also at the political leadership level, ' Maleeha Lodhi told the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).

Pakistan's envoy positioned in India continue to be harassed as another incident surfaced on Tuesday when a auto carrying a diplomat was intercepted in Indian capital. 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.

Iran has invited Pakistan and China to participate in the strategic Chabahar Port and said the initiative is not aimed at "strangulating" or "encircling" anybody, a media report, on Tuesday, quoted visiting Iranian foreign minister as saying. Iran's offer may also be seen as a move to placate Pakistan's deep misgivings over India's long-standing involvement in the Chabahar Port project. Zarif said, "There is no reason for hostility between Iran and Saudi Arabia". India is likely to seek a clarification from the Iranians over the issue.

On another thorny issue for India, Iran's Foreign minister Javad Zarif, on a three-day visit to Islamabad, also supported the right of self-determination for the people of Jammu and Kashmir.

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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.

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.

This is hardly the first connectivity project that Iran has tried to work out with Pakistan on board. Iran's handing of the port's operational control to India was disappointing for Pakistan and taking part in Chabahar may engender problems moving forward.