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Tuesday May 21, 2024

Iran's president arrives today for wide-ranging talks

The trip will see the two countries mulling over a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen the bilateral ties and boost cooperation in various fields

By News Desk & Our Correspondent
April 22, 2024
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi looks on in this undated image. — AFP/File
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi looks on in this undated image. — AFP/File

ISLAMABAD/KARACHI: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs Sunday confirmed that Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will reach Pakistan today (Monday) on an official visit from April 22 to 24.

Accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation, comprising the foreign minister and other cabinet members along with senior officials and a large business delegation, Raisi’s visit will be the first by any head of state to Islamabad after the February 8 polls.

The FO’s confirmation comes as a comprehensive security plan was chalked out for President Raisi’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.

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

The trip will see the two countries mulling over a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen the 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.

Meanwhile, the Karachi commissioner has announced a public holiday on April 23 (Tuesday).

In a notification issued on Sunday, the authorities said all public and private offices and schools will remain closed in the metropolis. The public holiday has been announced owing to the arrival of foreign dignitaries, as per the notification.

“In view of the visit of Foreign Dignitaries and to avoid inconvenience to the general public, Tuesday, the 23 April, 2024 is hereby declared as Public Holiday in Karachi Division,” read the notification. It further said the essential services and officials involved in emergency duties will remain operational on April 23.

Meanwhile, a special meeting of the Syndicate of the University of Karachi Sunday unanimously approved the conferment of Doctor of Philosophy (Honoris Causa) in the KU Faculty of Islamic Studies on the Iranian President Dr Seyed Ebrahim Raisi, a statement issued by the varsity read.

The KU special syndicate was called following a letter from Sindh Governor Muhammad Kamran Khan Tessori. The governor, also the chancellor of the public sector universities in the province, recommended the University of Karachi to award an honorary PhD degree to the Iranian president.