PM Imran Khan meets Iranian President Rouhani in Iran

TEHRAN, April 22 (INP): Pakistan’s Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Monday met Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the Presidential Palace in Tehran during his two-day maiden visit for enhancing bilateral relations and hold detailed discussions over critical regional issues.

They discussed the entire spectrum of bilateral relations, and the means to further bolster their relations in diverse fields.

PM Khan is visiting Iran on the invitation of President Rouhani. He is also scheduled to meet Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei.

Earlier today, the premier arrived at the Presidential Palace in Tehran where he was received by Rouhani. The national anthems of both countries were played during the welcoming ceremony, after which PM Khan was presented a guard of honour. The premier is also expected to meet Pakistani and Iranian business community in Iran. Minister for Human Rights Dr Shireen Mazari, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistanis Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Special Assistant to PM on National Health Services Dr Zafarullah Mirza and Special Assistant to PM on Petroleum Nadeem Baber are included in the Pakistani delegation. On Sunday, the premier landed at the Tehran International Airport where he was warmly welcomed by Iranian Health Minister Dr Saeed Namaki. Earlier, he paid his respects at the shrine of Imam Ali Raza during a brief stopover in Mashhad at the start of his two-day maiden visit to Iran. He met the leadership of the Khorasan-i-Razavi province and asserted that maintaining good relations with neighbours “was the cornerstone of his government policy.” PM Khan – whose visit followed the brutal incident on April 18 near Ormara, in which 14 personnel belonging to the armed forces, including Navy, Air Force and Coast Guards, were shot dead and Pakistan lodged a strong protest with Iran over “its inaction against the terror groups believed to be involved in the Ormara killings” – on his highest priority will discuss border security issues with the Iranian leadership. Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) had lodged a strong protest with Iran over the matter. In a letter written to the Iranian embassy on Friday, the MoFA stated: “Killing of 14 innocent Pakistanis by terrorist groups based in Iran is a very serious incident that Pakistan protests strongly.” On Saturday, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi said Islamabad had evidence the “terrorist outfits” that carried out the attack have “training and logistic camps inside Iranian areas bordering Pakistan”. INP/AJ