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Saturday May 18, 2024

Iranian president's visit: Public holiday announced in Lahore today

Major roads in Islamabad blocked as part of the security measures for Raisi's arrival, while public holiday also declared in Karachi

By Usman Bhatti
April 22, 2024
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrives on a three-day official visit in Islamabad, April 22, 2024. — Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi arrives on a three-day official visit in Islamabad, April 22, 2024. — Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA)

LAHORE: Punjab has also announced a public holiday in Lahore today (Tuesday, April 23) to avert traffic issues for the general public amid Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi's visit to the city.

Raisi will arrive in Lahore on April 23.

Iranian president Raisi landed in Islamabad on Monday on a three-day official visit, the foreign office said, amid tight security in the federal capital.

The visit, which the FO said would run until Wednesday, comes as the two neighbours seek to mend ties after unprecedented tit-for-tat strikes this year.

"The Iranian president is accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation," the foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that the group also included the foreign minister, other cabinet members and senior officials.

Raisi will meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and other officials, besides visiting the eastern city of Lahore and the southern port city of Karachi, it added.

Major highways in Islamabad were blocked as part of the security measures for Raisi's arrival.

Raisi's visit is a key step towards normalising ties with Islamabad.

It must be noted that the Sindh government also declared a public holiday on April 23 (Tuesday) in the Karachi division to “avoid inconvenience to the general public” as foreign dignitaries, including the Iranian president are visiting Pakistan.

The FO said that the Iranian president would undertake an official visit to Pakistan from April 22 (Monday) to April 24 (Wednesday).

“The Iranian president will be accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister and other members of the cabinet, senior officials as well as a large business delegation,” the FO said.

“He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership,” the FO statement added.