Iran’s president to visit Pakistan next week


Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi is set to visit Pakistan on April 22, sources told the media on Monday, as regional tensions surge after Iran’s unprecedented drone and missile strikes on Israeli territory on Sunday.

As per sources, Islamabad and Tehran have agreed upon the matters pertaining to President Raisi’s visit who will be accompanied by a high-level delegation and will hold meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari and the military leadership.

His visit comes after Tehran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation to the Israeli airstrike on its Damascus consulate that killed several people including Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) senior commanders Mohammed Reza Zahedi and senior commander Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi.

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Pakistan had even withdrawn its ambassador from Iran and announced that it would not allow the Iranian envoy visiting his home country at that time to return as a gesture of protest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

The sources, as per the publication, said the agenda of President Raisi includes bilateral ties, security cooperation, gas pipeline and potential free trade agreement (FTA). The Iranian president’s visit also holds significance as the two countries share key economic interests, most notably the Pak-Iran gas pipeline.

It is pertinent to know that in a separate development, Iran on Monday said that they would release Pakistanis, stranded on a ship seized by the Iranian forces, after confirmation of their nationalities and completing legal formalities due to brotherly ties between the two countries. Iranian envoy to Pakistan, Reza Amiri Moqadam, told the media that they were waiting for the confirmation of the presence of Pakistani nationals on the ship.__Daily Times