LAHORE -  Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Mehdi Honardoost has said that banking channels between Tehran and Islamabad will start working soon as the top officials of the central banks of the two countries are scheduled to meet within days.

Improved banking ties will boost bilateral trade between the two countries as the current volume of commerce does not reflect cordial ties while banking relations are central to boost trade and investment ties, he said.

Talking to President of the Pakistan Economy Watch, Mehdi Honardoost informed that a high-powered Pakistani delegation is to visit Iran during the next week to finalise free trade agreement (FTA).

He informed that Iran has already forwarded final draft of FTA to Pakistani authorities with hope that FTA will be finalised within three months.

The Ambassador said that the Islamic Republic has planned to modernise its airlines and asked US to provide 100 aircraft but got approval of seventeen while direct flights between Islamabad and Tehran are on the cards.

Honardoost said, “We have been issuing over one hundred thousand visas to Pakistanis and plan to augment the number as the trade ties continue to improve as the border crossing at Pishin, Baluchistan which is bordered with Iran in the west.”