ISLAMABAD (PRESS RELEASE)

The Ambassador of Pakistan to Iran hosted a reception to commemorate 78th Pakistan’s National Day in a local hotel on Tuesday evening. Interior Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli was the Chief Guest on the occasion. A large number of guests from all walks of life including Mr. Alaeddin Borojardi, Chairman National Security and Foreign Policy Commission of the Iranian Majlis, members of the Iranian Parliament, Deputy Ministers of Defense, Interior and Trade, high ranking civil and military officials, diplomats, scholars, media persons and prominent citizens of both countries attended the event, says a press release received here today from Tehran. The ceremony began with playing of national anthems of Pakistan and Iran. Ambassador Asif Durrani, in his welcome remarks, greeted the guests with Norouz wishes and shed light on the significance of Pakistan’s National Day with a pledge to strive for a peaceful, prosperous and stronger Pakistan. Highlighting the myriad challenges that Pakistan faced in recent years, Ambassador Durrani said that Pakistan has sacrificed more than 70 thousand of its citizens including armed forces personnel and Law Enforcement Agencies in fighting terrorists and has succeeded in defeating terrorism on its soil. He added that “today, there are no safe havens for terrorists on our soil”. Now, Pakistan is on the path of economic progress, it is rated as the most progressive emerging market with GDP growth of 6 per cent this year and projection of 6.5% in the coming year, the Ambassador said. Ambassador Durrani lauded the bilateral relations between Pakistan and Iran which are getting stronger by the day and said that both countries have displayed exemplary cooperation on many regional and international issues. With 35 % increase in bilateral trade since last year, the Ambassador expressed hope of attaining 5 billion dollars mark of bilateral trade in the next three years. The Ambassador hoped that the successful completion of China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would further boost Pakistan- Iran cooperation as transit hub for the region. Chief Guest, Iran’s Interior Minister Fazli, in his speech extended felicitations to the Government and people of Pakistan on Pakistan’s National Day and lauded commemorating of 70 years of relations between Iran and Pakistan including cultural, civilizational, religious and historical. The Iranian Interior Minister reiterated the interest of the Supreme leader of Iran on the expansion and deepening relations with Pakistan and said that it has given further strength to these bonds, which has been followed by all the governments of Iran, especially the present govt of Rouhani. The Chief Guest hoped that opening of new border points between both the countries would enhance potential of border markets and border security. The development of Gwadar and Chabahar ports, signing of FTA and implementation of PTA, establishing banking channels between Pakistan and Iran would bring about economic prosperity for both the neighbours and the region. At the end of the ceremony, the Ambassador, the Chief Guest and the dignitaries cut a cake to mark Pakistan- Iran friendship. A documentary showing Pakistan’s rich cultural heritage and economic progress was also screened on the multimedia. (Since 23rd March falls during Norouz holidays in Iran, Pakistan National Day reception was held on 10th April, 2018).