CHAGAI: Authorities of Pakistan and Iran have devised a strategy to provide special facilities to pilgrims visiting holy sites in Iran.

According to official sources, a meeting was held on Saturday at the FC Officers Mess in Taftan where Dalbandin Assistant Commissioner Habib Nasir, who represented Chagai’s deputy commissioner in his absence, led the Pakistani side while the Iranian delegation was represented by a senior border official in the Iranian city of Mirjaveh, Colonel Haider Mureedi. Officials of security forces, Customs and immigration from both sides also attended the meeting.

They discussed matters related to Pakistani pilgrims in Iran and decided to establish 20 special 24-hour counters during days of Muharram and Safar at Taftan and Mirjaveh borders where pilgrims would be provided separate passage.

The meeting also decided to nominate focal persons from both sides who will coordinate with officials in Pakistan and Iran for resolving issues of pilgrims during their travel from Quetta to the border and from there to holy sites in Iran.

The Pakistani officials demanded issuance of emergency travel documents to pilgrims in case they lose their travel documents during pilgrimage.

The Iranian authorities urged their Pakistani counterparts to make arrangements for good quality buses and provision of fuel.

It was also decided that a follow-up meeting would be held next month in which Customs officials from both countries would present a line of action regarding extra luggage of pilgrims.

Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2019