ISLAMABAD: Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan, Mehdi Honardoost, has said that banking channels between Tehran and Islamabad would be operational after the meeting of both countries central banks top officials. Improved banking ties would boost bilateral trade between the two countries as the current volume of commerce does not reflect the cordial ties, he said. While talking to President of the Pakistan Economy Watch, Dr Murtaza Mughal, he said that a high-powered Pakistani delegation would visit Iran next week to finalise the Free Trade Agreement (FTA). He said that Iran already forwarded the final draft of FTA to Pakistani authorities with hope that FTA would be finalised within three months. The ambassador said that Iran has planned to modernise its airlines and asked US to provide 100 aircraft, but only got approval of seventeen, while direct flights between Islamabad and Tehran are on the cards. “We are also revamping our tourism industry, which is also an opportunity for Pakistani investors to explore,” he added. “We issued over 100,000 visas to Pakistanis and plan to augment the number as the trade ties continue to improve,” he said. The ambassador said that a stable Pakistan would be beneficial for Iran and that the Chabahar Port was a commercial initiative, which poses no threat to Pakistani ports.