Iran President Raisi set to visit Pakistan on April 22 amidst Middle East tensions: Report

Amidst spiralling tensions in the Middle East, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to visit Pakistan on April 22 and hold meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari and the military leadership, according to a media report on Monday.
Iran President Raisi set to visit Pakistan on April 22 amidst Middle East tensions
Iran President Raisi set to visit Pakistan on April 22 amidst Middle East tensions

Islamabad | Amidst spiralling tensions in the Middle East, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi is set to visit Pakistan on April 22 and hold meetings with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, President Asif Ali Zardari and the military leadership, according to a media report on Monday.

The 63-year-old leader's expected visit will take place days after Tehran launched more than 300 drones and missiles at Israel in retaliation to an alleged Israeli airstrike on its Damascus consulate in Syria that killed several people, including two senior commanders of Iran's elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Geo News reported.

The visit also assumes significance as it comes amidst ongoing efforts by Pakistan and Iran to deepen their cooperation which received a temporary setback earlier this year.

In January, Pakistan, in retaliation to Iran's cross-border strikes, carried out precision strikes using killer drones and rockets to target terrorists inside Iranian territory, the report said.

Two bases of the Sunni Baloch militant group 'Jaish al-Adl' in Pakistan's unruly Balochistan province were targeted by missiles and drones, Iranian state media reported.

Jaish al-Adl, or the "Army of Justice", is a Baloch Sunni militant group founded in 2012 that largely operates in Pakistan.

Pakistan had even withdrawn its ambassador from Iran and announced that it would not allow the Iranian envoy, who was visiting his home country at that time, to return as a gesture of protest against the breach of its sovereignty by Iran, Geo News reported.

However, the diplomatic ties were soon restored with the ambassadors of the two countries returning to their respective posts.

The sources, as per the report, said the agenda of President Raisi's visit includes bilateral ties, security cooperation, a gas pipeline and a potential Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

The Iranian president's visit also holds significance as the two countries share key economic interests, most notably the Pakistan-Iran gas pipeline, the report said.

In another development, Iran announced on Monday that they would release Pakistanis stranded on a ship seized by the Iranian forces, after confirmation of their nationalities and completing legal formalities due to brotherly ties between the two countries, the report said.

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