Over 5,000 stranded Pakistani devotees allowed entry into Iraq

ISLAMABAD (NNI): Over 5,000 Pakistani devotees, stranded at the Iran-Iraq border, were allowed Sunday an immediate entry into Iraq after the request of Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah to his Iraqi counterpart Othman Ali Farhood on a telephone call.
As per the official sources, the Pakistani interior minister held atelephonic conversation with his Iraqi counterpart during which he raised with him the issue of delay in issuance of visas to Pakistani devotees and the difficulties faced by them in entering Iraq. Rana Sana requested to allow 5,000 Pakistani pilgrims stranded at the Iran-Iraq border to enter Iraq, and he also requested him to permanently open the Iran-Iraq border for the Pakistani pilgrims entering Iraq from Iran. He also demanded the issuance of special visas to the Pakistani devotees intending to visit Iraq for Arbaeen—Chehlam Hazrat Imam Hussain (RA).
Iraqi Interior Minister Othman Ali Farhood welcomed all the suggestions of his Pakistani counterpart Rana Sanaullah and assured him of prompt approval and implementation of all the demands. The Iraqi interior minister announced opening all the entry points for
Pakistani devotees and also the immediate processing of all their visa applications pending in the Iraqi embassy. He also announced giving special visa facility to the Pakistani devotees going to Iraq for Chehlum Imam Hussain (RA).
Both the interior ministers also agreed to increase the number of visas to the Pakistani devotees and form a joint committee for a sustainable solution to other problems including those of the devotees. They also agreed to take steps to promote Pakistan-Iraq relations and improve coordination between the interior ministries of the two countries.
Rana Sana thanked his Iraqi counterpart for immediately allowing the 5,000 Pakistani devotees stranded at the Iran-Iraq border to enter Iraq.
He also thanked him for speedy processing of visa applications, increasing the number of visas and issuing special visa permits to the Pakistani devotees for Arbaeen.
Rana Sana’s telephonic conversation with his Iraqi counterpart lasted for about 40 minutes during which he also invited him to visit Pakistan soon.
Iraqi Interior Minister Othman Ali Farhood expressed good wishes for his Pakistani counterpart. He also thanked Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah while accepting the invitation to come to Pakistan soon.