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EDITORIAL: Four soldiers were martyred at the Pak-Iran border in the Kech district of Balochistan last Saturday when a group of terrorists operating from the Iranian side attacked a routine border patrol.

According to a statement issued by the military’s media wing, ISPR, “necessary contact with the Iranian side is being made for effective action against terrorists on the Iranian side, and to prevent such incidents in future.”

In a similar incident in January also four soldiers embraced martyrdom in an attack on a border post from across the Pak-Iran border. No one has taken credit for the present incident.

An insurgent group, the so-called Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), which usually claims credit for such raids, is believed to be behind it.

Ousted from Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power, Baloch insurgent groups are said to have taken refuge in the border regions of Iran.

Pakistan and Iran have no conflict of interests, yet security-related issues remain a constant source of concern. Border patrols on both sides have come under sporadic militant strikes, creating unnecessary tensions between the two brotherly countries.

In 2017, a mechanism called Pakistan-Iran High Border Commission was formed to discuss border-related issues with a view to enhancing cooperation at different levels, but to little effect. A year later, 14 Iranian security personnel were abducted from the border, for which an al-Qaeda affiliated group, Jaish al-Adl, claimed responsibly.

Most of them were freed in a painstaking rescue mission by Pakistan’s security forces. During the recent years, Baloch insurgents groups have launched several terrorist strikes from their sanctuaries in Iran on soldiers guarding the border as well as inside Baluchistan. Such incidents undermine trust in Iran’s willingness to do what is expected of it.

In several high-level exchange visits, Pakistan has been conveying its concern about these groups’ acts of terrorism, without eliciting the desired response, though. At one point in September 2021, the then interior minister had openly stated that anti-Pakistan militant outfits were coming from Iranian Sistan-Baluchistan province to regroup in the border region of Pakistani Balochistan.

Apparently worried about the thinking that Tehran was not doing enough to deal with militants sheltering in its border areas, in February of last year Iran’s interior minister Dr Ahmad Vahidi came on one-day visit to Islamabad for meetings, aside from his Pakistani counterpart, with the then prime minister and the then army chief.

Afterwards, he told journalists that Iran and Pakistan would from a joint working group to look after border management, including security, trade, and travel issues. The unfortunate incident at the Kech border shows cooperative action in that direction has gone astray.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Tulukan Mairandi Apr 05, 2023 07:03pm
No money to do so. Sorry
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