PM Attends Memorial Ceremony for Late Iranian President

PM attends memorial ceremony of late Iranian president

TEHRAN/ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif attended a memorial ceremony in honor of the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his entourage, who tragically died in a helicopter crash last Sunday.

The prime minister arrived in Tehran for a daylong visit to offer condolences to the Iranian leadership. Upon his arrival at Tehran International Airport, he was received by Iranian Minister for Roads and Urban Development Mehrdad Bazrpash.

According to an official statement, Shehbaz Sharif offered his condolences to Acting Iranian President Mohammad Mokhber during the commemoration ceremony. He paid tribute to the late President Raisi for his contributions to the development and prosperity of Iran, the promotion of Pak-Iran relations, and his services to the region.

Prime Minister Sharif expressed his condolences on behalf of the government and people of Pakistan, stating that the entire Pakistani nation stands with Iran in this hour of grief. He conveyed deep sympathies to the families of the martyrs and the Iranian people. He noted that President Raisi was a great friend of Pakistan, and the moments he spent with the Pakistani people during his visit last month would always be remembered.

The prime minister also expressed his best wishes for Interim Iranian President Mokhber. During the ceremony, he visited the hall where the mortal remains of the late President Raisi were kept and prayed for his high ranks in the hereafter. Later, he also met with Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei led the funeral prayers for the late president, with tens of thousands of mourners filling the streets in Tehran. The funeral procession will move to Raisi’s home city of Mashhad for burial on Thursday.

In other developments, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting to discuss IT park projects. He instructed for the early completion of the IT Park in Islamabad, being developed with South Korean cooperation, and called for a third-party performance evaluation of software technology parks. The Islamabad IT Park is expected to be completed by next year and will feature startups, incubation centers, banks, restaurants, and other facilities. Another IT Park near Karachi’s Jinnah International Airport, also supported by South Korea, is slated for completion by 2027. Additionally, 43 software technology parks have been established in 20 cities, with plans to develop 100 new eRozgar centers and 10 new software technology parks by 2025.

In a separate meeting, the prime minister directed relevant authorities to take steps to grant industrial status to the gems and precious stones sector. He called for necessary legislation and consultations with provinces and the private sector to uplift the sector and immediately activate the Gems and Jewelry Development Company.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is scheduled to visit the United Arab Emirates on May 23, 2024. This will be his first visit to the UAE since his election. He will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising key cabinet ministers. During the visit, the Prime Minister is expected to meet His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, to discuss bilateral relations with a special focus on trade and investment. He is also likely to hold meetings with other Emirati dignitaries, businesspersons, and heads of financial institutions.