Iran and Pakistan on Sunday agreed to go ahead with the gas pipeline project which was discussed in a meeting between Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran. Mr Sharif is on a two-day visit to Iran. An official statement said both the leaders agreed to continue with the project as it is beneficial for the people of the two countries.

Mr. Sharif said he was here with his team to resolve all matters which were creating a hindrance to the project. The gas pipeline has been hampered by US sanctions and while Iran has almost completed its share of the pipeline, construction in Pakistan has not yet begun due to lack of funds.

Mr. Sharif and Mr. Rouhani reiterated their commitment to enhance bilateral trade between the two countries. Mr. Sharif said there was a lot of scope to enhance trade to US of up to $ 5 billion. He said some “miscreant elements” were trying to sabotage the brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran. “We will deal with all such elements firmly and not let them sabotage our relations,” he added. Both leaders also discussed border security matters and agreed that better border management and improved security measures would result in increased bilateral trade and cooperation. Mr. Sharif also extended an invitation to the President Rouhani to visit Pakistan, which was accepted.