Sunday, May 19, 2024

Pakistan says looking forward to President Raisi’s visit to Islamabad

Pakistan announced it is "looking forward" to hosting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, noting that the two countries have revived all channels of mutual communication.

Addressing her weekly press briefing, فhe Pakistani Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Mumtaz Zahra Baloch, offered Islamabad’s invitation to President Raisi for an official visit.

“Pakistan and Iran have re-engaged and revived all bilateral channels of communication that existed prior to January and there are a number of areas of cooperation including in the trade domain,” she said.

“There is a high-level delegation from Iran currently in Pakistan where all aspects of bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran will be discussed,” added the spokesperson.

She did not announce any date for President Raisi’s anticipated visit. Still, she said, “I can underline that the people of Pakistan and the Government of Pakistan are looking forward to the visit at an early date.”

In a phone conversation with Pakistani prime minister on March 5, President Raisi said Iran is ready to expand all-out relations with Pakistan.

Shehbaz Sharif stated that Iran and Pakistan can take effective steps to secure their mutual interests based on the deep friendship between their people.

The two neighboring countries witnessed an escalation of cross-border tensions over Iran’s counter-terrorism operations. On January 16, Iran launched simultaneous drone and missile attacks on two bases of Jaish ul-Adl, a terror outfit that was formed in 2012 and has conducted several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.

The group claimed responsibility for an attack in December 2023 on a police station in the southeastern city of Rask that killed at least 11 Iranian police officers.

On January 10, another attack by the group on a police station in the city killed one officer.

Pakistan carried out strikes on January 17 against, what it called were, bases of the separatist Baloch Liberation Front and Baloch Liberation Army in regions close to Iran’s border which Tehran slammed as unbalanced.

The two countries fully restored ties in the next weeks as ambassadors resumed duties in late January.

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