The Pakistani parliament has voiced dissatisfaction over the low level of trade between the country and neighboring Iran as lawmakers censure the government in Islamabad for its lack of action to get round US sanctions on Tehran to enable trade between the two countries to boom.
A report by the Express Tribune published on Wednesday said that Chairman of the Standing Committee on Commerce in Pakistan’s National Assembly Naveed Qamar had demanded explanations from senior trade officials in the country about why trade ties with Iran were extremely low.
Qamar rejected a statement made by a representative of Pakistan’s commerce ministry during a hearing on Tuesday claiming that US sanctions have seriously affected trade ties with Iran.
The senior lawmaker said that even European countries have been engaged in trade with Iran despite their adherence to the US sanctions.
Qamar summoned officials from State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for a hearing next week where the lender is expected to offer explanations on why banks in the country have been hesitant about processing payments related to trade with Iran, said the report by the Express Tribune
The report added that lawmakers in the Pakistani parliament had been “strongly displeased” that Prime Minister's Adviser on Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood had been absent from the Tuesday session of the commerce committee which was focused on Iran.
Dawood has been key to Pakistan’s recent efforts meant to increase trade and economic relations with Iran. The official visited Tehran in November to finalize some major bilateral agreements, including a mechanism that could allow bartering Iranian energy products for Pakistani rice.