ISLAMABAD – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will arrive in Islamabad on Friday (today), on his maiden official tour to Pakistan. Foreign Office spokesperson Nafees Zakaria told his weekly media briefing that President Rouhani will hold meetings with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, President Mamnoon Hussain, Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif and other top level dignitaries during the visit. The meetings, exchange views on strengthening bilateral relations, particularly after lifting of the sanctions on Iran that has opening new avenues for enhancing economic interaction. Pakistan and Iran are set to discuss ways and means for enhancing economic cooperation especially pursing the multibillion-dollar Iran-Pakistan [IP] gas project. “IP gas pipeline is a major bilateral project between the two countries but pending due to the economic sanctions on Tehran. Now as sanctions have been lifted, so all such projects will come under discussions during the talks between the leadership of the two countries during Iranian President’s visit to the country,” the spokesperson told local journalists. The Iranian President will be accompanied by a high-level delegation comprising Ministers, senior officials and businessmen, he said, adding cooperation on regional and international issues of mutual concern will also be discussed. From Pakistan the Iranian president will head to Iraq and then Austria on the following days, a statement issued by Tehran said. The visits will mainly focus on the reestablishment of economic ties with Europe, South Asia and the Middle East at the same time. The Iranian President is visiting Pakistan at the invitation of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, which is significant after lifting of sanctions on Iran that has opened new avenues for enhancing economic interaction. In a statement, the Foreign Office said that the leadership would have an exchange of views on strengthening bilateral relations. The visit of Rouhani would further deepen the existing fraternal ties between the two countries, the statement said. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had visited Iran in May 2014 and January 2016.