Iran wants Pakistan to lift Covid travel ban – Pakistan
LAHORE: Iran has urged Pakistan to remove it from Category C of its Covid-19-related travel restrictions, as the ban affects not only flight operations but also bilateral trade between the two countries.
“Pakistan has kept Iran in Category C in terms of coronavirus restrictions, which negatively affects air operations and bilateral trade between the two countries,” Iranian Consul General Muhammad Raza Nazri said addressing to the business community here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Monday.
Following instructions from the National Command and Operations Center, the government revised its categories of inbound air / ground travel in June, now Iran, India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia,
South Africa, Iraq, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, South Africa, Tunisia, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Namibia, Paraguay, Peru, Trinidad, Tobago and Uruguay in category C and prohibiting people to travel to Pakistan from these countries.
Mr Nazri said that there was no such restriction on the Iranian side on the other hand. “Pakistan should also remove the restriction on Iran,” he asked.
The consul general complained that the Pakistani consulate in Iran was taking a long time to issue visas to Iranians, while the Tehran consulate in Islamabad promptly issued travel documents. He was of the opinion that despite the US sanctions against Iran, there is a lot to exchange.
“Iranian trucks should be allowed to enter Pakistan,” he asked.
The diplomat also complained about the imposition of a 50 percent duty on Iranian apples, while in Afghanistan the duty is only 10 percent.
“We call on Pakistan to reduce this duty as well. “
On the barter issue, he said it had been decided that rice and denim would be exported from Pakistan to Iran and that in return Islamabad would buy electricity from Tehran. But the State Bank of Pakistan refused to facilitate the deal and kept it on hold.
Posted in Dawn, le 19 October 2021