ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that Iran is ready to use its special influence and relations with Pakistan and India to mediate between the conflicting parties on Kashmir issue and help bring sustainable peace in the region.
“Iranian government has announced its readiness for any support, for any hope of peace and tranquility in the region,” the Iranian envoy said in an exclusive interview with the state-run news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP).
“We have not yet received any official request from both sides for Iran as a large country in the region to come and try to solve the matter,” he said.
The ambassador said any conflict, or tension between the two countries would hinder the way of progress and development of both countries but would also impact upon the economies of the other countries in the region.
“It is important to remove such tensions to ensure sustainable and durable peace in the region,” he added.
Mehdi Honardoost said it may be true that some forces wanted such tensions to find excuses for its engagements in our region.
“We hope that the wise leaders of the conflicting countries pay attention to this issue that a lot of problems that we face in this region have exogenous sources,” he said.
Responding to a query, the ambassador said right now terrorism is a global phenomenon.
“It’s not located only in one area or in one country, and it is the consequence of the approach of the super powers towards terrorism,” he said.
“We analyze the terrorism, the super powers have been supporting some sort of terrorist elements against the host country’s government at one time and fighting against it on some other time or in some other country”.
The Iranian envoy said this contradictory approach is the root-cause of good or bad terrorists. Terrorism is bad in all its manifestations.
“In Syria they are so dangerous and one day they will come back to their societies and I am sure that the control of those terrorists will not be so easy for these governments,” the ambassador said.
When asked his comments on Syria crisis, he said that there were several terrorists groups in Syria some six years ago, “receiving some facilities from some countries, they came against the people of the Syria and the legal government of Syria but the resistance of the people did not let them succeed”.
The envoy was of the opinion that Organization of Islamic Countries (OIC) was very important circle and group for the Islamic world and underlined the need to widen its sphere by adding all Islamic countries in its fold.
“As part of this Family we should try to have more interaction, many Islamic countries right now are in a chaotic situation, and their people in a bad situation. We should try to improve the situation. The responsibility of this issue is on the shoulders of the big and important Islamic countries like Iran and Pakistan”.
Mehdi Honardoost said said the Islamic world is facing multifaceted problems at present which include conflicts and tensions between each other besides global challenges.
“More interaction and cooperation between the biggest Islamic countries can help remove tension between them”.
Responding to a question if Iran was interested in joining Saudi Arab’s Islamic coalition, he said the Iranian authorities have announced their intentions to join the alliance as Iran firmly believes that all the tensions which the Islamic world is facing can be resolved mutually.
“It’s better for all important countries to come together and resolve these issues of Islamic world, we believe that the coalition of peace has more priority and importance than any other problem”.
Talking about the Pak-Iran trade ties, he said the bilateral trade was not up to its potential. However, he said the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) draft has been signed and it would soon be operative to enhance two-way trade.
The envoy said the relevant authorities of both countries would be meeting in the forthcoming 20th round of the economic joint commission between Pakistan and Iran during which, he added, some tangible plans would be evolved to further strengthen the trade ties.
Both neighbouring Iran and Pakistan are unique in the region and have very friendly and brotherly relations and their population constitutes a good market for the business community of the two countries, he said.
“Our future is bright after the removal of impediments. Hopefully our trade relations would continue to grow,” he remarked.
Replying to a query on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), he said it is a giant project with full of opportunities, not only for Pakistan and China but for all countries of the region.
Mehdi Honardoost said it was beyond any doubt that it can not only work as a game-changer for the region but would also turn to be unifying force for the countries in the region.
“Our people in the region and the countries are suffering a lot from tensions and conflicts between some countries, and fortunately Pakistan had (acquired) very good position (through this project), a very good gesture regarding increasing the peace and tranquility of the region.”
The Iranian ambassador was confident that the completion of the CPEC would help bring in unity and consolidation by removing tensions among the conflicting countries.
“Hence, we announce our official stance and position regarding the Iranian interest and willingness to come into CPEC.”
Earlier, he extended his Norouz greetings to the people of Pakistan. He said it is the beginning of the New Year and arrival of spring.
About his official assignment, he said he was increasing interactions with other departments and sectors in Pakistan to achieve better results.
“I feel like at home as the people are almost same, same moods and styles, attitudes and almost same environment including weather as he finds in Mashad and its suburbs,” Mehdi Honardoost said.