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Wednesday May 22, 2024

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to reach Pakistan today

Cabinet members, large business delegation to accompany Iranian head of state on his visit from April 22 to 24

By Web Desk
April 21, 2024
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) interacts with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.  — X/@PTVNewsOfficial/File
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif (left) interacts with Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi.  — X/@PTVNewsOfficial/File

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will reach Pakistan on an official visit, the first of any head of state since the February 8 polls, today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed in a statement on Sunday.

During his visit, scheduled from April 22 to April 24, President Raisi will be with his spouse along with a high-level delegation including foreign minister, cabinet members, senior officials and a business representatives.

A day earlier, The News, citing Interior Ministry sources, reported that a comprehensive security plan has been formulated for the dignitary's visit after his security squad members reached Pakistan to review the measures taken by the Pakistani authorities.

Sources added that owing to the tensions between Iran and Israel, almost all law-enforcement agencies, National Counter-Terrorism Authority (NACTA) and intelligence agencies would contribute to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the visit of the guest.

The strict security measures also include air surveillance along with temporary internet suspension during the dignitary's movement, the publication said.

During his visit, as per the FO, the guest will hold meetings with Pakistani leadership including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other senior officials including Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq as well as provincial leadership.

The trip will see the neighbouring countries mulling over a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen bilateral ties and boost cooperation in various fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts.

The two sides will also discuss regional and global developments and bilateral cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism, the FO noted.

President Raisi's visit also holds significance as the two countries share key economic interests, most notably the Pak-Iran gas pipeline.

The visit is part of ongoing efforts by the two countries to deepen their cooperation which received a temporary setback earlier this year.

In January, relations between the two nations had turned sour after Pakistan, in retaliation to Tehran's cross-border strikes, carried out precision strikes using killer drones, rockets, loitering munitions and stand-off weapons to target terrorists inside Iranian territory.

Pakistan had even withdrawn its ambassador from Iran and announced that it would not allow the Iranian envoy visiting his home country at that time to return as a gesture of protest against the breach of its sovereignty by Iran.

The diplomatic ties, however, were soon restored with the ambassadors of the two countries returning to their respective posts.