Leaders of Pakistan, Iran hold first meeting in 10 years

Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, left, and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi meet during an inauguration of the Mand-Pishin border in Pishin, border of Pakistan-Iran, May 18, 2023. (Pakistan Prime Minister Office via AP)
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif, left, and Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi meet during an inauguration of the Mand-Pishin border in Pishin, border of Pakistan-Iran, May 18, 2023. (Pakistan Prime Minister Office via AP)

The top leaders of Pakistan and Iran inaugurate the first border market as relations warm between the two countries, officials said.

Located in the remote village of Pashin in Pakistan’s southwestern Baluchistan province, the marketplace is the first of six to be constructed along the Pakistan-Iran border under a 2012 agreement signed by the two sides.

In a televised meeting, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, sitting next to Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi, assures him Pakistan will do its best to improve security along the Iranian border. He adds that both sides agree to enhance trade and economic ties, and extends an invitation to Raisi to visit the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.

Iran-Pakistani relations have been contentious because of cross-border attacks by Pakistani militants along their shared border.

This is the first visit of its kind since 2013, when the two nations signed an agreement allowing Pakistan to import Iranian gas despite American opposition. Tehran at the time said that “the West has no right to block the project.” The agreement could not be implemented because of US sanctions on Iran.

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