Tehran, Aug 10, IRNA – India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday said she would raise the issue of nine Indian nationals detained in a Tehran jail with the Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif who arrives in India on August 14.
Swaraj had taken cognisance of a report in the publication India Today, which highlighted the plight of the nine Indians, including Delhi resident Sushil Arora, who have been in jail for two years on charges of smuggling oil, the Hindu newspaper reported.
The ship’s owner, according to the report, had earlier paid the fine to get his confiscated ship released, but refused to pay the fine for the ship’s crew members.
Swaraj, after meeting Sushil’s family, said she would ask the Iranian authorities to release the crew members and also spare them the fines.
“I will speak to the Iranian Foreign Minister when I meet him,” she told India Today TV on Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Express Tribune wrote on Monday that Zarif is expected to visit Pakistan this week to expand cooperation between the two neighbors in the aftermath of the landmark nuclear agreement that Tehran signed with the world powers last month.
An official of Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed on Sunday that Iran’s top diplomat will arrive in Islamabad some time this week but said the exact dates of the visit were still being worked out.
Zarif’s last visit to Islamabad came in April this year when the conflict in Yemen was in the spotlight.
Zarif is also expected to travel to Turkey, Lebanon and possibly to neighboring India along with Pakistan.
In Pakistan, he will meet Pakistan’s top leadership and hold formal talks with Prime Minister’s Adviser on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz. The two sides are expected to explore new opportunities of cooperation in trade and business as a result of the lifting of economic sanctions on Iran following the nuclear deal.
Pakistan is hopeful that the nuclear deal will now pave the way for the completion of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project.