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PIA starts formal flight operation to and from Najaf

PIA flights to and from Najaf: Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) on Sunday launched its formal scheduled flight operation to and from Najaf to transport devotees visiting the Ziarat [sacred places] in Iraq.

Iraqi ambassador to Pakistan Hamid Abbas Lafta and PIA Chief Executive Officer Air Marshal Arshad Malik were also on board the flight PK-291 that flew from Karachi and returned, the national flag carrier said in a press statement.

Before the flight’s departure, a simple but impressive ceremony was held, where the PIA CEO, Iraqi ambassador, renowned Ulema and passengers cut a cake.

At the Najaf Airport, the passengers were received by Najaf Governor, Pakistan’s ambassador to Iraq, the Head of Iraqi Civil Aviation and religious leaders.

Speaking on the occasion, Arshad Malik said they had brought a message of love and care from Pakistan, adding Iraq was an important destination for Pakistani Muslims and sacred place for followers of all schools of religious thought. 

Welcoming the passengers, the Governor said Iraq would make all possible efforts to extend maximum facilities to PIA and Pakistanis visiting there, adding “Our government is working to make the visa system easier so that more devotees can visit there.”

Pakistan’s ambassador Ahmed Amjad Ali said the scheduled flights of PIA would further strengthen the ties between the two countries.  “After Najaf, we are trying to start PIA flights at the Baghdad route soon.”

Following the reception, the delegation visited the Kufa Mosque and the shrine of Hazrat Ali (RA); and returned home by the same flight.

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