ISLAMABAD/TEHRAN - Pakistan and Iran have agreed to fast-track consultations for a more realistic schedule for implementation of the IP gas pipeline project, said the Foreign Office.

This, according to the FO, was one of the important outcomes of Tuesday’s meeting between Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz and Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr Muhammad Zarif.

Aziz is in Tehran to participate in the 21st meeting of the Council of Ministers of 10-member Economic Cooperation Organisation.

It was agreed that comprehensive technical, commercial proposals on IP gas pipeline would be discussed in Tehran by the Inter-State Gas System Ltd of Pakistan and Tadbir Energy Gaspar Iranian Co. in the first week of December. This will be followed by ministerial-level discussions.

The two ministers reviewed in detail the bilateral cooperation and regional and global issues, and expressed satisfaction over the friendly and cordial relations between Islamabad and Tehran.

Discussing various areas of cooperation between the two countries‚ both sides emphasised the need to put greater focus on bilateral economic relations. It was also agreed to hold the next round of Joint Ministerial Commission in Tehran early next year.

Earlier, addressing the ECO ministerial meeting, Sartaj Aziz reiterated Pakistan’s strong commitment to the aims and objectives of the organisation. Recalling the ECO’s aim to promote sustainable economic cooperation, he remarked that it had a solid programme of cooperation and a forward-looking agenda to expand horizon of engagements. He observed that the ECO had made reasonable progress and needed to show more proactive approach so that the benefits could directly affect the lives of the people of the region.

Sartaj Aziz had separate bilateral meetings with Ahmet Davutoglu, foreign minister of Turkey, and B Taganov, minister of Economy and Development of Turkmenistan.

Iran’s president opened a two-day meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organisation in Tehran Tuesday with a call to reform the regional body that would boost its indefensible trade volumes.

“With the beginning of the third decade of cooperation, ECO needs to undertake some reforms,” President Hassan Rouhani said in his opening speech, as cited by local media.

Rouhani asked members of ECO, which groups 10 Asian and Eurasian countries, to boost the absolutely indefensible interregional trade volume.

The ECO was founded in 1985 by Iran, Pakistan and Turkey to promote economic, technical and cultural cooperation among member states. Later, it was extended to include Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Meanwhile, Adviser to Prime Minister on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz said Tehran and Islamabad are conducting a joint investigation into the recent deadly terrorist attack on Iranian border guards in Sistan and Balochistan province.

“Consultations continue between Iran and Pakistan on the Saravan incident and joint investigations have been carried out in this regard,” Aziz told FNA on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) member states in Tehran on Tuesday.

“Tehran and Islamabad are (also) trying to make use of some mechanisms to strengthen security at their borders,” he added.

He noted that the terrorist attack took place 6 kilometers into the Iranian territory, adding there are no evidences yet to prove the terrorists crossed the border from Pakistan.

He stressed that both countries are trying to take actions to further boost security alongside their borderlines.

The Pakistan foreign ministry caretaker stressed that construction of IP gas pipeline will gain momentum with the removal of sanctions against Iran.

The official also said his country welcomed the recent agreement between Iran and the G5+1.

14 Iranian border guards were killed and 6 more were injured during the terrorist attack by outlaws in Saravan border region in Sistan and Balochistan, Southeastern Iran, late last month.

The terrorists who have reportedly been members of the outlawed Jeish Al-Adl movement fled into Pakistan after the operation.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in a statement, vowed to take action against the terrorists after the cross-border attack.

“At the present crucial juncture, the Islamic establishment is going through a sensitive phase and is trying to gain a major achievement in the area of strategic development. Terrorist actions under the command and support of the spy agencies of the arrogant and colonial powers will not be able to harm the sincere and determined will of the Iranian nation,” parts of the IRGC statement read.

“The crime (cross-border hit) should remind the alleged advocates of global terrorism and those interested in establishing ties with the Islamic Republic that the Iranian nation has never been unaware of the masterminds of the plots,” the statement added.