Tehran – Iran and Pakistan entered into negotiations on the development of religious tourism.
On Sunday, Pakistani media reported that Minister of Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Mufti Abdul Shakur urged the Iranian government to finalize a draft agreement called “Ziarat Policy” to promote religious tourism.
“Every year there were many people who pay their respects to the mausoleums of sacred religious figures located in Iran. In this regard, the Government of Pakistan has introduced a project called Ziarat Policy in an attempt to expand religious tourism between the two brotherly countries, but it is still under consideration,” the Express Tribune reported on Saturday.
In a conversation with a delegation led by the Deputy Director of the Islamic Organization for Culture and Relations (ICRO) of Iran, Hossein Ruzbeh, Abdul Shakur said that he proposes to open offices in Iran, including the Pakistan House, and to facilitate religious pilgrims during their stay in Quetta and Taftan in accordance with politics.
Ruzbe said that the cornerstone of Iran’s foreign policy is to maintain warm relations with neighboring countries.
He invited the minister to attend an upcoming conference to be held in Iran to discuss the promotion of religious harmony and other common issues between the two countries.
Moreover, Abdul Shakur noted that the relations between the two peoples are based on common values and brotherhood. According to him, both countries sought to solve bilateral problems by developing a joint strategy.
The report says that high-ranking officials of both sides agreed to develop bilateral relations, interfaith harmony and cooperation in organizing the Hajj.
Prior to the coronavirus outbreak, around 700,000 Pakistani pilgrims were reportedly coming to Mashhad to visit the shrine of Imam Reza (A) every year, according to reports. Mashhad is the main destination for Pakistani travelers who come to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of the eighth Shia imam.
According to official figures, the shrine of Imam Reza (AS) receives an average of 500,000 pilgrims daily.
In addition, the spiritual tradition of pilgrimage to the shrine, along with ongoing efforts to provide hospitality to Razavi pilgrims, may soon be included in the UNESCO cultural property list, as Iran has asked the United Nations cultural agency to recognize the concept of “Good Guard Practices to improve hospitality services for Razavi pilgrims.