Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi is commencing a three-day official visit to Pakistan, marking the first visit by any foreign leader since the February 8 polls. Although closely monitored by the United States amidst tensions between Iran and Israel, sources indicate that the visit is unrelated to ongoing hostilities.

Accompanied by his spouse and a delegation comprising the foreign minister, cabinet members, senior officials, and a substantial business contingent, President Raisi’s itinerary includes meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chairman of the Senate Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani, and Speaker of the National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq. Additional visits to Lahore and Karachi are scheduled to engage with provincial leadership.

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The agenda encompasses discussions aimed at fortifying Pakistan-Iran relations and fostering cooperation in trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and people-to-people exchanges. Leaders from both nations will address regional and global developments, along with bilateral efforts to counter the shared threat of terrorism.

Upon arrival in the capital, President Raisi will receive a warm welcome from Minister for Housing and Works Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada. Subsequently, Prime Minister Shehbaz will engage in delegation-level talks, followed by the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) between the two sides. A luncheon hosted by the premier will further honor the visiting dignitary.

President Zardari will extend his hospitality at Aiwan-e-Sadr, hosting a dinner for President Raisi. The latter’s visit to Lahore includes meetings with Governor Balighur Rehman and Chief Minister Maryam Nawaz, alongside a visit to Allama Iqbal’s mausoleum. In Karachi, engagements with Governor Kamran Tessori and Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, along with a visit to Quaid’s mausoleum, are on the agenda.

President Raisi will conclude his visit in Karachi before departing for Tehran on Wednesday. High-profile security measures are in place, prompting a public holiday declaration in Karachi on April 23.


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