April 21, 2019
TEHRAN – Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan visited Iran on Sunday for an official two-day tour on the invitation of President Hassan Rouhani.
This marks the first time Prime Minister Imran is visiting Iran after assuming office in August 2018.
The premier made a stopover in Mashhad before proceeding on to Tehran. Alireza Razm Husseini, the governor general of Khorasan Razavi province, received the prime minister upon arrival at the Shahid Hasheminejad International Airport.
Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran, Riffat Masood, officials of the Pakistan embassy in Tehran and Pakistan Consulate in Mashhad were also present at the airport.
According to a press release by the Prime Minister’s Office, Khan is accompanied by Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development Sayed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on National Health Services Zafarullah Mirza, and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Petroleum Nadeem Baber.
In his brief talks with the provincial governor, the prime minister called for cooperation to facilitate the pilgrimage of Pakistani nationals to the shrine of Imam Reza (AS), the eighth Shia imam, in Mashhad.
He also visited the Imam Reza shrine and met the custodian of the Astan Qods Rezavi.
The prime minister was initially scheduled to visit Iran in January, but the visit was postponed at the eleventh hour because of unexplained reasons.
Khan’s Iran visit to reinforce Tehran-Islamabad trust: senator
Chairman of Pakistan’s Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs says Khan’s visit to Iran will reinforce confidence and trust between Tehran and Islamabad.
In an interview with IRNA published on Sunday, Senator Mushahid Hussain Sayed said the visit would also build strong political ties between Iranian and Pakistani leaders.
“As chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs I warmly welcome the visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to the Islamic Republic of Iran which is our neighbor, which is our very traditionally close friend with whom we have mutuality of interest,” the senator said.
He went on to say that the visit sends a very positive message from Pakistan, its government, its people and parliament to the people of Iran.
Pakistan rejects all kinds of negative propaganda against Iran, he pointed out.
“Pakistan has very strong strategic ties with Iran and we want to further strengthen those ties at the political level, at the economic level and at the security level,” the senator said.
He said there are issues between Iran and Pakistan, particularly regarding security. “We have a common enemy in terms of terrorism and extremism and we will combat that enemy together because it is in the interest of both Iran and Pakistan.”
Ambassador Masood also said on Sunday that her country is seeking to expand ties with Iran.
She highlighted the Pakistani prime minister’s resolve to strengthen ties with neighboring countries.
“Iran is a neighboring, friendly and Muslim country, therefore we are seeking to expand relations with Iran,” Ambassador Masood said, quoted by IRNA.