Premier to pay first official visit to Iran - GulfToday

Premier to pay first official visit to Iran

Imran khan

Imran Khan will pay his first ever two-day official visit to Iran on April 21-22. File

Tariq Butt

Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay his first ever two-day official visit to Iran on April 21-22.

He goes to Iran on the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. This will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to Iran, the Foreign Office announced in a statement.

Khan was initially scheduled to visit Iran in January, but it was postponed at the eleventh hour for unexplained reasons. The dates of the upcoming visit had been doing the rounds in the media for several days, but uncertainty continued till the official announcement by the foreign office.

The statement said Pak-Iran relations were “marked by close historic and cultural linkages and strong people-to-people exchanges”.

The relations have, however, had a bad patch as well, due to security issues along the border. There was a brief bonhomie in ties after Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa’s unprecedented visit to Iran in November 2017. That could, however, not be sustained for long.

Border security issues will be on top of Khan’s agenda in Tehran, officials said. Iran has been feeling uneasy because of certain activities in Balochistan and has been complaining to Pakistan about them.

The kidnapping of some Iranian security guards by elements in Balochistan fueled the tensions. Iran has been demanding action against different groups operating in Balochistan.

Pakistan has announced to do fencing of the border with Iran along with a similar measure on the border with Afghanistan to stop illegal infiltrations. Separately, at least seven review petitions have been filed against a highly damning judgment of the Supreme Court authored by Justice Qazi Faez Isa against the elements involved in the 2017 Faizabad sit-in of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP).

The ruling was handed down on February 6 this year. Under the Supreme Court Rules 1980, an aggrieved party can move review petition within 30 days of the judgment but in this case, apex court registrar has extended time till April 18 for that purpose for unexplained reasons.

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Tuesday moved its review petition. However, it omitted objections against Justice Isa and argued that the party was not given a fair chance to present its case.