Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi lands in Islamabad on three-day visit

by IANS |

Islamabad, April 22 (IANS) Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday landed in Islamabad on a three-day visit. The visit holds critical value as the Western world will be keeping a close watch against the backdrop of Tehran’s ongoing frictions with Israel and the United States.

The Iranian President landed at Islamabad’s Nur Khan Airbase where he was received by Pakistan’s Minister of Housing and Works Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada.

He was escorted to the Prime Minister’s House where he was given a guard of honour and met Pakistan Premier Shehbaz Sharif.

Raisi is in Pakistan along with a delegation comprising dignitaries from various fields, who will be having brief meetings and discussions with their Pakistani counterparts and will be formulating parameters of cooperation in the days to come.

Raisi will spend one day in Islamabad and then will travel to Lahore on Tuesday following a visit to Karachi on Wednesday.

“Despite the upheaval in the region, the Iranian President has decided to visit Pakistan. It suggests the importance Tehran attaches to Islamabad,” said political analyst Kamran Yousaf.

He said that his visit would not only mend ties between the two countries especially after Pakistan carried out airstrikes inside Iranian territory in response to Tehran’s strike inside Pakistan but will also be significant in moving forward with economic cooperation initiatives.

Iranian President will meet Pakitan Army Chief General Asim Munir, President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chairman Senate Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani and Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq.

Sources said that the Iranian President will try to find out mutual cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism with the Amry Chief.

The Iranian president’s visit to Pakistan has not gone well with the Biden administration as it comes in the wake of recent tensions between Iran and Israel and Tehran’s direct threat to the United States.

Sources said that Pakistan was under pressure from Washington and demanding not to host the Iranian president. “Despite the pressure, Pakistan informed the US that the scheduled visit was arranged before the current tensions in the region,” a government official said.

“US imposed sanctions on four firms including three Chinese companies for allegedly aiding Pakistan’s ballistic and long-range missile program. It is clear that Washington’s move was to assert more pressure on Pakistan to refrain from hosting the Iranian President,” said senior political analyst Javed Siddique.

Siddique said that it is also a known fact that the US has also warned Pakistan to refrain from showing any interest in the revival of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.

“The US had warned Pakistan of sanctions if Pakistan takes such a decision,” he added.

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