ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Iraq have agreed to start a ferry service between Basra and Karachi to help Pakistani zaireen (pilgrims) visiting Iraq.
The agreement was reached during a meeting between Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah and Iraqi Ambassador Hamid Abbas Lafta here on Thursday.
They agreed to sign the Pakistan-Iraq pilgrim agreement this year and allocate visa quota for Pakistani pilgrims going to Iraq.
Speaking on the occasion, the interior minister thanked the Iraqi government for issuing visas to 60,000 Pakistani pilgrims for Arbaeen (Chehlum) of Hazrat Imam Hussain this year.
Emphasising the need for an early signing of the pilgrim agreement, the interior minister said millions of pilgrims visited Karbala, Najaf and Baghdad every year and this agreement would provide best facilities to them.
The Iraqi ambassador said Pakistan and Iraq had historic, fraternal and long-standing ties.
He said the agreement would expand and strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries and provide the best visa facilities for Pakistani visitors.