Pakistan and Iran can prove to a game-changer in the region, Tehran International Studies and Research Institute (TISRI) Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abed Akbari has said.
Akbari was speaking to a Pakistani delegation of professors and journalists in TISRI and said, “Pakistan and Iran can literally prove to be a game-changer in the region. Pakistan needs energy and Iran needs agriculture. They both can enhance their trade through barter system as well.”
“Leaders from Pakistan and Iran have to take some serious steps to boost the bilateral relationship between both the countries,” he added.
The think tank, TISRI, has taken an initiative to explore the sectors in which Pakistan and Iran can increase trade.
“We have six different desks in TRI focusing on different issues around the world. We have recently started a desk which is specially dedicated to Pak-Iran relations. And we have made a list of sections in which both nations can collaborate with each other,” said Akbari.
Iran was the first country to recognize Pakistan following the latter’s independence.
While elaborating on the relations between the two countries, Dr. Akbari said that Iran recognized Pakistan because they knew that they were going to be good neighbours. “Whatever has happened in the past can be put behind us for fresh and new relations between the two Muslim countries,” he said.
The TISRI is working on Iran’s foreign policy with different countries for the past four years and also advises lawmakers regarding decision-making.
While speaking on the sanctions against Iran, Dr. Akbari said, “We know that sanctions are a big problem but many countries are trading with us despite the sanctions because where there is a will, there is a way. And we know that Pakistan is not just another country for us but they are like our brothers. So, we really want to extend a helping hand to deal with the energy crisis.”
During their visit, the Pakistani delegation met the community of think tanks, researchers, and analysts and visited different universities including Allamah Tabatabai University, Tehran University and National Defense University.
Gen. Nasrallah Kalantari, director of The National Security Research Institute within National Defense University, while speaking to the delegation said, “Pakistan and Iran have to sit together and see why there is still a bit of strain in the relationship. I know at many points, both countries have supported each other against different terrorist organizations, but the collaboration should be smooth and consistent.”
He also mentioned the time he had spent in Rawalpindi and expressed the wish to again visit the country.
“I visited Pakistan almost ten years ago but I want to travel again and I also want my people to go there and see how much people love and respect us,” said Kalantari.