Iran President Arrives In Pakistan 'To Boost Ties' Months After Deadly Cross-Border Strikes

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is the first head of state of any country to visit Pakistan after the February 8 general elections. He was accorded a warm welcome at the Islamabad Airport

Iran President Arrives In Pakistan, Meets PM Shehbaz Sharif Photo: AP

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi on Monday arrived in Pakistan on a three-day official visit to promote cooperation, months after the two neighbours carried out tit-for-tat airstrikes against alleged terrorist hideouts on rival lands.

Raisi, the first head of state of any country to visit Pakistan after the February 8 general elections, was accorded a warm welcome at the Islamabad Airport and was received by Housing Minister Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada and Pakistan’s Ambassador to Iran Mudassir Tipu, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted on social media platform X.

The Iranian president is accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister and other members of the Cabinet and senior officials, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

President Raisi has an extensive programme in Pakistan and is scheduled to meet President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani and Speaker of the National Assembly Ayaz Sadiq.

He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership, the Foreign Office said.

According to Radio Pakistan, Raisi will meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif today while there will also be a round of delegation-level talks between the two countries.

“Upon arrival at the Prime Minister House, a guard of honour will be presented to the visiting dignitary,” the report said.

The Iranian president and PM Shehbaz will plant a sapling in the Prime Minister’s House on the occasion of Earth Day, it said, adding that they would also attend the signing ceremony of memorandums of understanding between the two countries for cooperation in various fields.

“The two leaders will participate in a ceremony regarding naming a highway in Islamabad as Iran Avenue. They will also hold a press talk,” Radio Pakistan said, adding that the prime minister would also host a lunch for the Iranian president and his delegation.

“The two sides will have a wide-ranging agenda to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran ties and enhance cooperation in diverse fields including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people contacts,” according to the FO statement.

The talks will focus on regional and global developments and bilateral cooperation to combat the common threat of terrorism.

Pakistan and Iran enjoy strong bilateral ties anchored in history, culture and religion. This visit provides an important opportunity to further strengthen Pakistan-Iran relations, according to the Foreign Office.

Raisi is visiting Pakistan months after the cordial ties between the two neighbours suffered a setback when Tehran shocked Islamabad by carrying out airstrikes against alleged militant hideouts in the restive Balochistan province in January.

Pakistan swiftly responded by using killer drones and rockets to carry out “precision military strikes” against what it called “terrorist hideouts” in Iran’s Siestan-Balochistan province, killing 9 people.

However, the two sides acted fast to restrain tempers through diplomatic channels. Raisi's visit is expected to further cement their ties.