ISLAMABAD: Minister of Development and Planning Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday met with Iranian Ambassador Seyed Mohammad Ali Hosseini, seeking an increase in electricity exports, according to the Islamic Republic News Agency.
Hosseini received Iqbal at the Iranian Embassy in Islamabad.
The meeting was also attended by Mohammad Sorkhabi, deputy ambassador of Iran, Syed Zafar Ali Shah, deputy minister of development and planning and head of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and some officials of the Ministry of Energy and Maritime Affairs.
Emphasising the importance of neighbourliness with the Islamic Republic of Iran and bilateral cooperation in the field of energy, Ahsan Iqbal requested an increase in Iran’s electricity exports to Balochistan.
The minister requested Iraninan ambassador to expand economic cooperation, especially to increase the export of electricity by 100 MW in addition to the current 104 MW of electricity to the province from Iran.
Hosseini, while emphasising the development of cooperation between the two countries, announced Tehran’s readiness to supply electricity to Balochistan.
The two sides reviewed the latest developments related to Iran-Pakistan bilateral relations, economic cooperation, especially in the field of energy, and regional development plans, including CPEC.
In addition, considering Iran’s need to provide specialised personnel in the field of technology, he proposed bilateral cooperation and establishing a joint science and technology park on the common border.
He also expressed readiness to exchange experiences and educate young people in the field of technology and knowledge-based technologies on behalf of Iran.
These proposals were welcomed by the Pakistani side.
The ambassador mentioned Iran’s capacities in supplying energy, construction materials and road construction in completing development projects, especially economic projects like CPEC.
Iqbal expressed gratitude to Tehran for its cooperation in the energy sector, especially in the export of electricity to Balochistan, and stressed the commitment of Islamabad to further increase and deepen cooperation between the two neighbouring countries.
The minister said in the meeting: “We are trying to provide electricity to Balochistan province, including Makran coast, with the help of neighbouring and brother country of Iran.”
The meeting comes in the wake of the recently increased petrol prices as well as electricity tariffs. Additionally, the electricity shortfall has risen to over 7,000 MW following which, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held an emergency meeting on June 4 and issued strict instructions to curtail frequent power outages.