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Iranian President Raisi Reaches Pakistan

The Iranian leader will visit Lahore and Karachi tomorrow, before returning to Tehran on Wednesday

by Staff Report

Photo courtesy PID

Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi arrived in Islamabad on Monday, commencing a three-day visit that is expected to see the neighboring countries ink several agreements.

Arriving at Nur Khan Airbase in Rawalpindi, the visiting was warmly received by federal minister Riaz Hussain Pirzada. He is accompanied by his wife as well as a high-level delegation comprising Iran’s foreign minister, other members of his cabinet, senior officials and a business delegation.

According to an itinerary made available to media, Raisi would start his visit by meeting Pakistan’s top civil and military leadership, including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar and Army chief Gen. Asim Munir.

Following a brief stopover at his hotel in Islamabad, he would travel to Prime Minister’s House, where P.M. Sharif would receive him and present a guard of honor. A statement issued by the Foreign Office stated the prime minister and the visiting dignitary would conduct a one-on-one meeting expected to delve into matters of mutual interest and explore avenues for enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields.

Subsequently, the two sides would engage in delegation-level talks at the P.M. House, following which they would issue a joint declaration. The prime minister is also scheduled to host a lunch in honor of the esteemed guest ahead of the inking of several memorandums of understanding. The Iranian president and P.M. Sharif would also plant a sapling at the P.M. House to mark Earth Day and participate in a ceremony to rename Avenue 11 in Islamabad to Iran Avenue. This would be followed by a joint press conference. The Iranian leader would attend a dinner hosted in his honor by President Zardari on Monday night.

On Tuesday morning, President Raisi would travel to Lahore, where he is set to conduct meetings with Punjab C.M. Maryam Nawaz and Governor Balighur Rehman and visit the mausoleum of Allama Iqbal. After his Lahore stopover, he would travel to Karachi, meet the provincial leadership, and pay his respects at the Quaid’s mausoleum. He would then return to Tehran on Wednesday. Due to the prevailing security situation in the Sindh capital, authorities have declared a public holiday in Karachi for April 23, with all public and private offices and education institutions to remain closed.

Raisi’s visit marks the first trip by a foreign leader to Pakistan after the formation of a new government. While it was planned several months back, it has taken on global significance, as it occurs after recent Iran-Israel tensions.

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