Facilitate zaireen

WITH the advent of Muharram, a large number of convoys of Shiite sect start visiting Iran, Iraq and also Syria to pay homage at the shrines of Islam’s holiest personalities. But it is quite regrettable that up till now there is no proper mechanism to facilitate travel of these pilgrims or Zaireen. Mostly people travel to these places via buses due to cost effectiveness but it has also been seen that such a travel is not devoid of security risks.
It is heartening to note that the present government is mulling over options to facilitate the travel of people to these holiest sites in neighbouring Iran and other countries. Minister for Interior Shehryar Afridi on Monday said that the Federal government in consultation with the Balochistan government and other stakeholders has prepared a comprehensive plan for security and safety of pilgrims to Iran and in this regard they are also in contact with the Iranian authorities. Indeed provision of security to these Pakistani pilgrims should be the foremost priority of the government and a blanket cover could be provided to them with the cooperation of Iranian security officials so that no untoward incident happens to them.
It is also important that a permanent mechanism should be evolved to streamline the entire operations of Zaireen for future. For this tour operators could be involved. Prime Minister Imran Khan himself had directed that immigration counters at Pak-Iran border should be enhanced to facilitate Zaireen through speedy immigration process. Certainly, this will save the pilgrims from a lot of haphazardness and trouble on the border. We understand that the visa on arrival provision will further ease travelling woes of these Zaireen and for this purpose relevant departments of both Pakistan and Iran can sit together and work out modalities. There is no doubt that both Pakistan and Iran enjoy excellent relations and these visiting Zaireen can serve as ambassadors for further bringing the two countries close to each other.

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