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PM’s Iran, China visits

PRIME Minister Imran Khan will visit Iran and China on April 21 and April 25 respectively on the invitation of leaders of the two countries. PM Khan will leave for Iran on a two-day visit on April 21 and then go to China on a three-day visit on April 25. He will attend the second meeting of One Belt One Road Initiative Forum in Beijing. Leaders and diplomats from over 100 countries will attend the meeting.
The visits to Iran and China assume significance in the backdrop of some bilateral and regional developments and hopefully they would provide an opportunity to the Prime Minister to put things in the right perspective. Pakistan has always desired close and fraternal relations with Iran yet unfortunately some hiccups crop up due to various reasons including foreign interference in Balochistan. Relationship between Islamabad and Tehran had been tense since February 13 suicide attack in Iran’s volatile southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan, leaving 27 Revolutionary Guards dead. Iran pointed a finger at Pakistan for harbouring ‘terrorists’ at a time when it was facing a similar allegations from India after the February 14 Pulwama attack. But later, the two sides agreed not to allow ‘third parties’ to derail their longstanding ties and it is expected that this understanding would be strengthened during PM’s visit to Iran.
It is hoped that the Prime Minister would convey to the Iranian leadership that there was no question of Pakistan working against Iranian interests and it expects Tehran to reciprocate and discourage those who try to spoil relations after regular intervals. Similarly, the Prime Minister would attend One Belt, One Road moot in China and this would provide him an opportunity to remove misgivings about China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. Some domestic and international lobbies are conspiring to deprive Pakistan of the enormous benefits that the project would bring to Pakistan besides contributing towards economic and political benefits.