Pakistan announces one day of mourning on President Raisi’s death

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Monday announced a day of mourning to honour the death of Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian and other senior officials in a helicopter crash.

“Pakistan will observe a day of mourning and the flag will fly at half mast as a mark of respect for President Raisi and his companions and in solidarity with Brotherly Iran,” PM Shehbaz said in a statement on X, formerly Twitter.

“I along with the government and people of Pakistan extend our deepest condolences and sympathies to the Iranian nation on this terrible loss,” the premier said while praying for the martyred souls.

“The great Iranian nation will overcome this tragedy with customary courage,” the prime minister noted.

Shehbaz’s remarks come as Iran’s Vice President Mohsen Mansouri Monday confirmed Raisi’s death in a statement on social media and on state television.

President Raisi, Foreign MinisterAmirabdollahian and other high officials were returning to Iran after attending an inauguration ceremony of a dam on Iran’s border with the Republic of Azerbaijan when the chopper crashed while flying through a mountainous terrain amid heavy fog in the Varzaqan region of the country’s East Azerbaijan province on Sunday afternoon.

According to the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA), East Azarbaijan Province’s Governor Malek Rahmati, and Mehdi Mousavi, the head of Raisi’s guard team were on board the crashed aircraft as well.

A large-scale search and rescue operation in the fog-shrouded mountain area of East Azerbaijan province was launched and the search teams located the wreckage on Monday morning.

Meanwhile, President Asif Ali Zardari has also expressed “profound shock and sorrow” over the tragic accident.

“Pakistan mourns the loss of a great friend […] may Allah Almighty bless his soul and grant patience and strength to his family and the people of Iran in this time of irreparable loss,” read a statement issued by the President House.

The statement also said that the Iranian president “will be dearly missed and fondly remembered in Iran, Pakistan, and the Islamic World for his efforts to enhance relations with regional and Islamic countries.”

Stressing that the deceased Iranian head of state “had a special place for Pakistan and its people,” Zardari recalled his commitment to strengthen bilateral relations between the neighbouring countries.

“President Raisi will be dearly missed and fondly remembered in Iran, Pakistan, and the Islamic World ” the statement added while highlighting his the Iranian head of state’s support for Muslims especially the the Palestinian and Kashmiri people.

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari also expressed sorrow and conveyed condolences over the fatal crash.

“I express my heartfelt condolences to the government and citizens of the Islamic Republic of Iran […] every Pakistani is saddened by this tragic incident and shares the grief of his Iranian brothers and sisters equally,” Bilawal said in a statement.

It is pertinent to know that Islamabad and Iran had held productive discussions and agreed to advance bilateral cooperation in multiple domains including in trade, connectivity, energy and people-to-people contacts during President Raisi’s three-day visit to Pakistan in April.

During his three-day visit to the country, the Iranian president held meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Asim Munir, Senate Chairman Yusuf Raza Gilani, Speaker of National Assembly Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, and the chief ministers and governors of Sindh and Punjab.

The head of state visited Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi accompanied by his spouse and a high-level delegation, comprising the foreign minister and other members of the cabinet, senior officials and a large business delegation.

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