Pakistan, Iran hold ‘productive discussions’ as Raisi concludes maiden visit

Pakistan, Iran hold 'productive discussions' as Raisi concludes maiden visit

ISLAMABAD, APR 24: Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi held “productive discussions” with Pakistan as he concluded his three-day official visit to the country, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The two sides held productive discussions and agreed to advance bilateral cooperation in multiple domains including in trade, connectivity, energy and people-to-people contacts,” said the statement.

During his three-day visit to the country, the Iranian president held meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, Speaker of National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and the chief ministers and governors of Sindh and Punjab.

The head of state visited Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation, comprising the foreign minister and other members of the cabinet, senior officials and a large business delegation.

A day earlier, President Raisi visited mausoleum of Allama Muhammad Iqbal in Lahore to pay his respects and later visited GC University. He held meetings with CM Maryam Nawaz and Governor Baligh Ur Rehman.

Raisi said he did not feel “alienated” in Pakistan, highlighting that the people of the country have a special affinity with Iran. He further expressed he wanted to hold a public gathering in Pakistan, however, it could not be possible due to some reasons.

Later in the day, the president landed in Karachi where he addressed a ceremony at the Sindh Chief Minister’s House, saying that no power in the world can disrupt bilateral relations between Islamabad and Tehran.

President Raisi also said the bilateral relations between the two neighbourly states are interconnected via history, culture and religion

In third leg of visit to Karachi, Raisi also visited Quaid’s mausoleum and paid his respects to the founder of Pakistan. He then met Sindh Governor Kamran Tessori and both sides discussed various issues, including matters of mutual interest during the meeting.

Both officials agreed to increase cultural exchanges between the two countries.

Following his meeting, Tessori, being the chancellor of the University of Karachi, awarded an honorary degree of doctorate in philosophy (PhD) to the Iranian president, in recognition of his services for further bolstering ties between the two nations.

The Iranian president touched down in Islamabad on Monday on a three-day official visit from April 22 to 24. Raisi’s visit is the first by any head of state to Islamabad after the February 8 general election.

Strict security measures were taken, including air surveillance along with temporary internet suspension during the dignitary’s movement. To avoid the consequent inconvenience to the general public, the provincial governments announced a local holiday in Lahore and Karachi.