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Iran-Pakistan cooperation complicated by sanctions, porous border

Newly inaugurated power line and border marketplace mark progress, but sanctions hinder completion of long-delayed pipeline.
Raisi and Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif met on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Tuesday.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi jointly inaugurated two high-value projects at their countries' border last week, marking an upbeat phase in relations.

Lighting up the Pakistani port city of Gwadar and its surrounding areas, the new Polan-Gabd Electricity Transmission Line will bring relief to an energy-starved region. Despite years of delays, the facility was finally completed in time for the border ceremony. 

Resolving to deepen ties with Pakistan in the energy sector, Raisi stated that Iran had made “rapid advancements” in the energy sector including electricity, oil and gas. He said Iran was “fully prepared” to increase the capacity of the 1,000-megawatt transmission line. 

In addition, a new marketplace will link the Iranian city of Pishin with the Pakistani city of Mand. In a bid to speed up trade, six such border markets are being jointly constructed by the two countries.  

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