Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is being appreciated for his bold stance in his United Nation General Assembly address to highlight Indian atrocities in Indian held Kashmir. But he should also be lauded for holding number of meetings on the side-line of UNGA with various world leaders to boost bilateral ties. In his meeting with President of the neighbouring country Iran, Hassan Rouhani expressed a desire of Iran to be part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Both the leaders further expressed satisfaction over the positive trajectory in Pak-Iran bilateral ties. Iranian ambassador to Islamabad Mehdi Honardoust has also termed CPEC one of the greatest projects in the history of the region and both countries must consider the ways to maximize mutual interests via cooperation. Both countries have the capability to help each other for mutual development of economy through energy supply and construction of roads, railways dams and others area. Already Pakistani textiles, rice, surgical goods, sports goods and agricultural products are in great demand in Iran, but still there is great room to boost bilateral trade. Pakistan and Iran has decided to increase annual volumes of bilateral trade to $5bn by 2021, but more cooperation and efforts required to achieving the target.
Pakistan has reiterated quite often that CPEC has the potential of game changer for the region and other countries like Iran and land-locked Central Asian countries and Afghanistan can also be benefited from the mega project. Gwadar and Chabahar Ports should not be seen as rivals, in fact by supplementing each other, region can be made centre of maritime trade. Kazakhstan and other central Asian countries have already shown willingness to join CPEC; mega project would provide an alternative route to land-locked states access to sea.
It is good omen that Iran, Kazakhstan and other countries have shown interest to join CPEC project.