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Pakistan, Iran sign raft of accords to bolster bilateral cooperation

PM Shehbaz, President Raisi agree on joint efforts to eradicate terrorism

By Kashif Hussain

April 22, 2024 09:18 AM


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Pakistan and Iran on Monday signed a raft of agreements on varying subjects to enhance cooperation in different fields including trade, science technology, agriculture, health, culture, and judicial matters, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

The documents relating to eight agreements in total were signed between the two countries on the occasion of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s three-day official visit to Pakistan.

Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and President Raisi witnessed the ceremony as the representatives from both sides signed the documents at a ceremony in Islamabad.

The two countries signed an MoU on the Establishment of the Rimdan-Gabd Joint Free/Special Zone. The memorandum was inked by Secretary Board of Investment Ambreen Iftikhar and Iranian Advisor to President and Secretary of the Supreme Council of Free Trade Industrial and Special Economic Zones Hojjatollah Abdolmaleki.

The MoU on Mutual Recognition of the Standard of Iran and Pakistan was signed by Minister of Science and Technology Dr Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.

An MoU on Cooperation between the Ministry of Cooperative Labour and Social Welfare of Iran and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistani and Human Resources Development of Pakistan was also signed by Minister of Overseas Pakistani Chaudhry Salik Hussain and Iranian Minister of Road and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.

Minister of Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar and Iranian Minister of Justice Amin Hossein Rahimi inked an agreement on Judicial Assistance in Civil Matters between Iran and Pakistan.

Pakistan and Iran also signed an Agreement of Cooperation on Animal Hygiene and Health. The document was signed by Minister of National Food Security and Research Rana Tanveer Hussain and Iranian Mminister of Agriculture Jihad Mohammad Ali Nikhakht.

Similarly, the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in the Field of Quarantine and Phytosanitary was also inked by Minister of National Food Security and Research Rana Tanveer Hussain and Iran’s Minister of Agriculture Jihad Mohammad Ali Nikbakht.

The two sides also signed an MoU for Legal Cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Iran and the Ministry of Law and Justice of Pakistan. Minister of Law and Justice Azam Nazeer Tarar and his Iranian counterpart Amin Hossein Rahimi signed the memorandum.

An MoU between the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of Pakistan and Organization of Cinema and Audiovisual Affairs of Iran was inked to promote film exchange and cinema cooperation between the two countries. The document was signed by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar and Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Mohammad Mehdi Esmaili.

The signing ceremony also marked the ratification of a security cooperation agreement between the governments of two countries.

One-on-one meeting

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and President of Iran Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, in a meeting held at the PM House in Islamabad on Monday, agreed to strengthen bilateral relations in diverse fields, particularly in combating terrorism in the region.

The meeting saw a comprehensive exchange on enhancing Iran-Pakistan relations across various sectors, underscoring the significance of fostering stronger ties between the two nations.

Key areas of discussion included strategies to augment trade volumes and bolster communication networks, reflecting a shared commitment to advancing economic collaboration.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif highlighted the historical significance of President Raisi’s visit, marking it as the first head of state visit to Pakistan following the February 2024 general elections, a gesture warmly embraced by the Pakistani nation.

President Raisi, upon his arrival at the PM House, was accorded a guard of honour, showcasing the esteemed welcome extended by Prime Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and his delegation.

President Raisi’s three-day official visit, accompanied by a delegation comprising ministers and businessmen, underscores the depth of bilateral engagement between the two countries.

During his stay, President Raisi is scheduled to hold meetings with the President, Prime Minister, Chairman of Senate, Speaker of National Assembly, as well as provincial leadership in Lahore and Karachi, emphasizing the comprehensive nature of his engagement with Pakistan.

The agenda for the visit encompasses discussions on regional and global developments, with a particular focus on elevating Pakistan-Iran ties across multiple fronts, including trade, connectivity, energy, agriculture, and fostering people-to-people contacts.

Guard of honour

President Raisi was given a guard of honour as he arrived at the PM House to meet Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, along with his high-powered delegation.

President Raisi landed in the federal capital earlier in the morning for a three-day official visit accompanied by his spouse and a delegation comprising ministers and businessmen.

PM Shehbaz welcomed the visiting dignitary on his arrival at the venue of the formal welcome ceremony.

The national anthems of both countries were played as the Iranian president stood at the salute dais along with the prime minister. The smartly turned-out contingents of the armed forces presented a guard of honour to President Raisi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2X6a_XxTiOY

PM Shehbas and President Raisi planted a sapling at the lawns of the PM House in connection with the Earth Day.

Later, both the Iranian President Raisi and Prime Minister Shehbaz introduced their respective delegations to each other before proceeding for a tete-a-tete and delegation-level talks.
This marks the first visit by any head of state to Pakistan after the general elections in February 2024.

As the Iranian president landed at Nur Khan Airbase, a red carpet was rolled out to accord him a warm welcome. Federal Minister for Housing and Works, the minister-in-waiting, Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada received the guest.

Clad in traditional attires, two children presented bouquet of flowers to the dignitary, who is accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation comprising the foreign minister and other members of the cabinet, senior officials as well as a large business delegation.

During the three-day visit, President Raisi will meet the President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Chairman of Senate and Speaker of National Assembly. He will also visit Lahore and Karachi and meet with the provincial leadership.

Besides discussing regional and global developments, 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.

Iran president, FM Dar discuss bilateral ties

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar called on President Raisi in Islamabad and discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and global developments.

They emphasized the importance of enhanced efforts to further consolidate bilateral relations in diverse fields. They affirmed commitment to peace and constructive dialogue for resolving regional challenges.

Visit a turning point in bilateral ties

Foreign Minister Ishaq Dar has welcomed the visit of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi to his country, calling the visit a turning point in relations between the two neighbouring nations.

Ishaq Dar made the comment in a phone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian Sunday night on the eve of President Raisi’s visit to Pakistan.

Amirabdollahian said on his part that the two countries share cultural, social and religious commonalities, which serve an asset in their mutual ties.

In an interview with the IRNA in Islamabad, Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mumtaz Zahra Baloch hailed President Raisi’s visit to her country as historic. She said Raisi is the first high-ranking foreign official to visit Pakistan following elections earlier this year and the formation of a new government there, adding that the visit brings the message of peace and friendship for both countries.

During the trip, Iranian and Pakistani officials will hold comprehensive negotiations on mutual cooperation and opening up new fields of collaboration, she explained, adding that fight against terrorism, which is a common threat to both countries, is top on agenda.  

Islamabad has been adorned with banners and large pictures of Iranian President Raisi ahead of his official visit to Pakistan. Hundreds of portraits of President Raisi and Pakistani leaders can be seen in the main squares and streets of Islamabad, along the route from the airport to the Iranian delegation's residence, as well as in front of the presidential and prime ministerial offices.

Iranian flags have also been hoisted on the main streets and thorough fares along with Pakistani flags.

Pakistan, Iran to ink MoU on mutual legal assistance

Pakistan and Iran have decided to sign an agreement on mutual legal assistance in civil and commercial matters during the visit of Iran’s president to Pakistan.

Quoting its sources, the TV channel reported that both countries had also decided to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the purpose.

They informed that the federal cabinet had given a green signal to the government to go ahead with signing the agreement as well as the MoU with Iran.

Elaborating further, sources said that the cabinet had approved the summary moved by the Ministry of Law and Justice through circulation.

 

Reporters Awais Kiyani and Babar Shahzad


Kashif Hussain

A seasoned journalist, with a career spanning three decades.


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