ISLAMABAD - *Pakistan Senate Standing Committee on Maritime Affairs has called for expediting the tourism-based ferry service between Iranian port city of Chabahar and Pakistani city of Gwadar , local media reported.*
The Committee which met under its new chair, Senator Nuzhat Sadiq recommended that the project should be started at the earliest.
Committee members observed that while the Iranian government had completed the formalities to start the service, there had been unnecessary delays on the part of the Pakistani government.
During the meeting, Senator Kauda Babar said that in addition to increasing tourism, the ferry service would also encourage and enhance trade between the two countries.
“More than anything else, the ferry service would be a brilliant facility for pilgrims going to holy places in Iran and Iraq,” Senator Babar said.
The committee also recommended starting the ferry service from Karachi, stopping at Gwadar , Chababar in Iran and then heading to Iraq as well.
The committee was informed that although Ministry of Ports and Shipping was ready to launch the service, the department was waiting on security clearance to do so.
Iranian delegation led by Minister of Road and Urban Development Abbas Akhundi had visited Pakistan earlier this year and agreed to launch the service for tourists of both countries.
Iran and Pakistan are two neighboring states which enjoy strong brotherly ties, but despite the fact that large number of Pakistanis travel to Iran for religious and commercial purposes, there is no ferry service available between the two countries and the people have to use road and air links for the travel which is quite expensive.
The ferry service would prove to be a major step to enhance people-to-people contact and generate economic activities in the region.