ISLAMABAD: Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif is arriving here on Tuesday (today) on a two-day visit for talks on regional issues in addition to a review of bilateral ties.
Mr Zarif is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, National Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser and Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa during his stay in Islamabad.
He is being accompanied by a delegation comprising political and economic experts.
The delegation includes Iran’s special envoy for Afghanistan Mohammad Ibrahim Taheriyan, according to an Iranian official. This would be Mr Taheriyan’s first visit to Islamabad in his capacity as the Iranian point man on Afghanistan.
Iran has supported the intra-Afghan dialogue, which has been going on in Doha since September, but has failed to make any headway. The two sides have been bogged down for nearly two months in negotiations on the talks’ framework and its agenda.
Mr Taheriyan in a meeting with special representative of the UN secretary-general for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons on Monday expressed concern over escalating violence in Afghanistan over the past three months, according to media reports.
FM Zarif has maintained close coordination with Islamabad over the past few years and regularly visited Pakistan. He last came here in May 2019.
He greeted Pakistanis on Iqbal Day on Monday. In a tweet in Urdu, he said Allama Iqbal was pride of the Islamic world and was a staunch advocate of Muslim unity.
Responding to Mr Zarif’s tweet, Foreign Office spokesman Zahid Hafeez Chaudhri said Allama Iqbal is another common bond between Iran and Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2020