Prime Minister Imran Khan has arrived at Mashhad for a brief stop-over before proceeding to Tehran on a two-day official visit to Iran on the invitation of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. 

According to a press statement in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan, heading a high-level delegation, visited Mashhad today at the start of his 2-day visit to Iran. The Prime Minister was received by Mr. Ali Reza Raza Husseini, Governor General of Khorasan Province, and senior officials at the Mashhad airport. It is the first visit of Prime Minister Imran Khan to Iran after assuming office.

Mashhad is known for its religious and spiritual appeal to millions of Muslims particularly because the Holy Shrine of Imam Ali Ibne Musa Raza (A.S) is located here. Every year, a large number of pilgrims visit the city. More than 350,000  pilgrims from Pakistan alone visited Mashhad last year.

During his stay in Mashhad, the Prime Minister visited the shrine of Imam Reza (AS), and offered Dua and Nwafil. He also held a meeting with Hojat-ul-Islam Val Muslemin, Ahmad Marvi, Custodian of the Holy Shrine besides visiting the Museum of Holy Quran situated in the premises of the Shrine. The Prime Minister thanked the Government of Khorasan for facilitating a very large number of pilgrims and Zaireen from Pakistan during Muharram and Arbaeen. He informed that the Government of Pakistan was also taking a number of steps to facilitate the movement of Pakistani zaireen to Iran.

Prime Minister during his meetings with the leadership of Khorasan-e-Rizvi Province, underscored the importance Pakistan attached to expanding bilateral relations with  Iran in diverse fields. He said that maintaining good relations with neighborly countries is the cornerstone of his Government's foreign policy.

During the meeting with Custodian of the Holy Shrine, Prime Minister expressed happiness on starting his visit from holy city of Mashhad. He added that the guiding light for his Government were the principles on which the Holy Prophet (PBUH) based the city-state of Medina.

The Prime Minister added that Pakistanis never forgot that Iran always stood with Pakistan in difficult times. He underlined Pakistan's desire for closer relations with Iran.

Hojjatuleslam Valmoslemin Ahmed Marvi underlined the importance of unity of Muslim Ummah. He said that there will be unity among Muslims if they continue to follow the teachings of Holy Prophet, Khulfa e Rashdeen and Imam Reza.

Prime Minister later left Mashhad for Tehran where he will call on Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Islamic Revolution, besides holding in-depth talks with President Dr. Hassan Rouhani tomorrow.