ISLAMABAD: In a goodwill gesture to mend relations after tit-for-tat missile strikes in January this year, the Foreign Office (FO) confirmed on Sunday that Iranian President Dr Ebrahim Raisi would arrive on a two-day - from April 22 (Monday) to April 24 (Wednesday) - official visit to Pakistan today (Monday).

A statement issued by the FO said that this would be the first visit by any head of state to Pakistan after the February 8 general elections.

“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.

Iranian President to arrive on 22nd

It said that Raisi would meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari, Senate Chairman Yousaf Raza Gillani and National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Sadiq. “He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership,” it added.

“The two sides will have a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran ties and enhance cooperation in diverse fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” the FO said. “They will also discuss regional and global developments and bilateral cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism,” it added.

“Pakistan and Iran enjoy strong bilateral ties anchored in history, culture and religion. This visit provides an important opportunity to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran relations,” the FO concluded.

The visit comes months after Iran launched attacks in Pakistan targeting what it described as bases for the militant group Jaish al-Adl in the border town of Panjgur in Balochistan, Iranian state media reported, prompting strong condemnation from Islamabad and downgrading of diplomatic ties.

Less than 48 hours later, Pakistan struck terrorist hideouts in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchestan province. Reacting to the strikes, Iran had stressed that it would not allow its enemies to strain its “amicable and brotherly relations” with Islamabad.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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