A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for establishment of border Sustenance Marketplaces between Iran and Pakistan was signed on Wednesday by Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his visiting Pakistani counterpart Shah Mahmood Qureshi.
According to a press release of the Embassy of Pakistan in Tehran obtained by Iran Daily, the document “envisages establishment of six border marketplaces along the Pakistan-Iran common border, falling under the Balochistan Province from Pakistan side and Sistan and Baluchestan Province on the Iranian side.”
Formalization of local level cross border trade through establishment of border marketplaces will provide opportunities to local populations on both sides to engage in legal commercial activities. This will greatly benefit in raising the standard of living and welfare of the people of the two border provinces, added the document.
The idea to establish border marketplaces was first floated during a meeting between Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during the former’s visit to Iran in 2019. The successful signing of the MoU is a manifestation of the importance the two countries attach to the uplift of the people and the area of the two Balochestans, read the embassy press release.
Simultaneously with the visit to Iran of Pakistan’s foreign minister, Iran and Pakistan have opened their third official border crossing called Pishin-Mand on Wednesday.
Pakistani Minister for Defense Production Zobaida Jalal and Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami traveled from their capitals to the border to open the Pishin-Mand crossing, Press TV reported.
Pishin is the southernmost gateway in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan Province to Pakistan, marked by its proximity to many Pakistani towns and cities. It is only 20km from Mand, 60km from Temp, 120km from Turbat and 600km from Pakistan’s largest city and port of Karachi which will be reduced to 400km with the construction of a new road.
Iran and Pakistan share 959 kilometers of border.