Islamabad, 25 September 2022 (TDI): Pakistan and Iraq agreed on Thursday to establish a ferry service between the two countries. The venture will make it simpler for Zairean to travel from the South Asian country.

The Interior Minister of Pakistan; Rana Sanaullah and the Ambassador of Iraq to Pakistan, Hamid Abbas Lafta reached an agreement at a meeting in Islamabad.

The ferry service will commence between Basra and Karachi. Although no specific date has been set. Both officials discussed the “Pakistan-Iraq Pilgrim Agreement,” which is expected to be signed later this year.

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The two sides also decided to put aside a limited number of visas for Pakistani pilgrims visiting Iraq. The Interior Minister thanked the Iraqi authorities for issuing visas to 60,000 Pakistani pilgrims visiting Arbaeen Hazrat Imam Hussain.

According to him, the pilgrim agreement will provide improved amenities to the millions of Zaireans who travel to Karbala, Baghdad, and Najaf each year.

In addition, the Iraqi diplomat committed to developing bilateral ties and providing the best visa options for Pakistani pilgrims.

Religious collaboration between Iraq and Pakistan

Iraq and Pakistan have been working together to improve cooperation in the areas of religious tourism and counter-terrorism.

Iraq presently hosts 200 thousand Pakistani visitors. The two countries hope to make the process of acquiring entry permits to Iraq for religious tourism easier.

Millions of people travel to Iraq each year from all over the world, including Pakistan, to visit Shiite holy places in the southern provinces of Karbala and Najaf.

Iraq-Pakistan Ties

Iraq and Pakistan maintain close and cordial diplomatic ties. Historically, Mesopotamia; the then Iraq, and the Indus Valley first interacted culturally and economically around 1800 BCE.

Iraq and Pakistan established the Baghdad Pact, a military alliance against the Soviet Union, in 1955. Iraq-Pakistan relations have stabilized since 2003, with Pakistan assisting Iraq in its fight against the Islamic State and other militant organizations.

Iraq has maintained an Embassy in Islamabad, while Pakistan has an Embassy in the capital city of Iraq, Baghdad.