–Imran visits Mashhad, pays respects at shrine of Imam Raza (AS)
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday arrived in Tehran on a two-day official visit to Iran at the invitation of Iranian President Dr Hassan Rouhani.
As the prime minister landed at Mehrabad Airport of the Iranian capital city along with a high-level delegation, he was received by Iranian Health Minister Dr Saeed Namaki, a statement issued by the PM’s Office said. A smartly turned out contingent presented a static salute to the prime minister.
During his visit, he would call on Iranian Supreme Leader Seyed Ali Khamenei, besides holding detailed consultations with President Rouhani.
The prime minister’s visit to Iran will further the close bilateral relationship between the two countries.
He was accompanied by Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM (SAPM) on Overseas Pakistanis Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, SAPM on National Health Services Dr Zafarullah Mirza and SAPM on Petroleum Nadeem Baber.
En-route to Tehran, the prime minister landed in Mashhad where he paid respects at the shrine of Hazrat Imam Raza (AS), a revered Shia personality.
The prime minister paid respect at the shrine and offered Nawafil. He also prayed for the peace and prosperity of the country, the statement said. The PM also met shrine’s custodian Hujjatullah Val Muslemein Ahmed Marvi.
He was received by Khorasan-e-Razavi province Governor General Ali Reza Razm Hussaini. During the meeting with the governor general, the PM discussed the bilateral ties and matters of the mutual interest.
He thanked the Government of Khorasan for facilitating a very large number of pilgrims from Pakistan during Muharram and Arbaeen. He said the Government of Pakistan was also taking a number of steps to facilitate the movement of Pakistani Zaireen (pilgrims) to Iran.
The prime minister expressed happiness on starting his visit from the holy city of Mashhad. He added that the guiding light for his government were the principles on which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) based the State of Medina.
This is his maiden visit after he assumed office in August last year. The prime minister was initially scheduled to visit Iran in January, but the visit was postponed at the eleventh hour because of unexplained reasons.
PM Imran’s visit comes after the Ormara massacre in which 14 people were killed by terrorists in Balochistan’s Ormara. Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that the terrorists had come from Iran. He also said that the Ormara attack won’t affect the premier’s Iran visit.
“As much as 20 terrorists backed by Iran-based militant organisation clad in camouflage uniform of the Frontier Corps (FC) entered Pakistan from Iran and conducted an attack,” he added.
Pakistan also shared actionable evidence with Iran and asked the neighbouring country to act against elements involved in the attack.
On April 12, Iranian Ambassador Mehdi Honardoost told a select group of journalists that Iran was awaiting PM Imran’s visit.
“PM Imran would be our dear guest and we are eagerly waiting for his visit. We know he is very busy these days and we expect he would soon visit Iran,” he said.
After assuming office, PM Imran has visited Saudi Arabia, China, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Turkey and Malaysia to improve bilateral ties and to promote Pakistan as a destination for foreign investments.