Rohani, Modi reaffirm support for stable Afghanistan

India and Iran sign Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation (DTAA) and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to taxes on income

Modi congratulated Rouhani for his leadership in the development of the "golden gateway" of Chabahar port in Iran that has boosted connectivity to landlocked Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. "If they withdraw from the deal, the U.S. will regret it", he warned, reiterating Iran's commitment to the agreement as long as the other signatories did not renege on their part of the bargain.

Iran and India signed 14 memorandums of understanding (MOUs) on the sidelines of a meeting between Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Feb. 17, Iran's state-run IRINN TV reported.

"With a view to fully utilize the potential of the Chabahar Port and its connectivity to Afghanistan and Central Asia, India conveyed its readiness to support the development of Chabahar- Zahedan Rail line", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said, in a joint statement. India is looking to completely take over the operations of the strategically-located Chabahar port which is expected to offer stiff competition to the Gwadar port in Pakistan's restive Balochistan province that is being developed with Chinese help.

On the topic of Afghanistan, both sides stressed the significance of strengthening India-Iran-Afghanistan trilateral consultations and coordination, including suitably supplementing their cooperation on Chabahar.

Modi and Rouhani also released a joint postage stamp depicting the Kandla port in India and the Chabahar port.

"We also had a great deal of discussion today on facilitating economic relations, preferential trade tariffs, better banking relations, visa relations and facilitating travel between the two countries for business purposes", he said.

India says Pakistan "will pay" for Kashmir "misadventure"
Just a few days back, one also saw pro-Pakistan slogans echoing in the building of occupied Kashmir Assembly. In a strongly worded reaction, Khurram Dastgir vowed to "defend robustly" every inch of Pakistan's soil.

The agreements were signed in areas like double taxation avoidance, extradition, agricultural cooperation, port lease, medicine and others.

Expressing a common resolve to go ahead with developing the area around the port of Chabahar, a joint statement at the end of the visit said, "The Iranian side welcomed the investment of the Indian side in setting up plants in sectors such as fertilizers, petrochemicals and metallurgy in the Chabahar FTZ".

On combating terrorism, the Joint Statement read, "Recognising the challenges of terrorism and ideologies of violent extremism, the two Leaders reiterated their strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations".

According to Deepak Mittal, Joint Secretary (Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran), the two sides shared their concern over terrorism and agreed that this global menace can not be linked to any religion.

India and Iran on Saturday pledged to stop the forces of terrorism and extremism, delinking it from religion and agreed that there should be an end to terror sanctuaries even as the two countries broad-based their relationship by signing nine agreements, including one on connectivity relating to the strategic Chabahar port.

"People of both India and Iran believe in peace and tolerance drawing from the values of Sufi philosophy".

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