0438 GMT February 17, 2019
“We welcome it. Iran is our brother and time-tested neighbor,” foreign ministry spokesman Dr Mohammad Faisal said while commenting on the display of greeting messages on billboards in the Iranian capital Tehran and Mashhad, the country’s second most populous city, IRNA reported.
Also metro trains in Iran carried greeting messages in their announcements and on advertising screens.
“It is the first time that any foreign country’s national day is being celebrated in Iran at this scale,” said press counselor at Pakistan embassy in Iran, Birj Lal Dossani, in a text message from Tehran. The greeting messages were displayed on the special instructions of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
Greeting messages with Pakistan landmarks and map were displayed in metro trains, on roads of Tehran, Mashhad.
The Iranian gesture reflects warmth in the bilateral relations. Pakistan Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa visited Iran in November last year. It was a rare trip by a Pakistani army chief to the neighboring country.
Iran’s Chief of General Staff Major General Mohammad Bagheri also visited Pakistan last month.
In a statement issued from Tehran, Pakistan’s ambassador to Iran Riffat Masood said: “Several posters placed on billboards in Tehran and Mashhad with congratulatory message of Iran’s supreme leader on the occasion of Pakistan’s Independence Day … is a sign of deep Pakistan-Iran friendship”.