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World

Iran launches missiles at Jaish al Adl group, Pakistan ‘condemns unprovoked violation of its airspace’

  • Ministry of Foreign Affairs says strike inside Pakistani territory has resulted in death of two children, injured three girls
Published January 17, 2024

Pakistan strongly condemned the unprovoked violation of its airspace by Iran and the strike inside Pakistani territory which Islamabad said resulted in death of two innocent children and injured three girls, a development that dramatically escalates regional tension between the two neighbours.

“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences,” said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in a statement early Wednesday morning.

Islamabad’s reaction comes hours after it was reported that “two bases of Jaish al Adl in Pakistan were targeted by missiles on Tuesday”, according to Iranian state media, a day after Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards attacked targets in Iraq and Syria with missiles.

The strikes took place in the border town of Panjgur in Balochistan, according to reports.

Reuters added that the group has previously mounted attacks on Iranian security forces in the border area with Pakistan.

“These bases were hit and destroyed by missiles and drones,” Iranian state media reported, without elaborating.

Iranian Charge d’affaires has been called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey our strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran: Pakistan’s Foreign Office

Iran’s Nournews, affiliated with the country’s top security body, said the attacked bases were located in Pakistan’s Balochistan.

Iran says it targeted ‘Iranian terrorist group’ in Pakistan

At the time, Jan Achakzai, information minister of the province, which borders Iran, declined to confirm or deny the attack.

“Wait for the response of ISPR,” he had said, referring to the Pakistani military’s public relations wing.

Later, Pakistan’s Foreign Office confirmed that the strike had taken place.

“It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran,” it added in its statement.

“Pakistan’s strong protest has already been lodged with the concerned senior official in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran.

“Additionally, the Iranian Charge d’affaires has been called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey our strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran.

“Pakistan has always said terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action. Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighbourly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence.”

AP, quoting Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency and state television, had earlier said missiles and drones were used in the strikes in Pakistan. Press TV, the English-language arm of Iranian state television, attributed the attack to Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, according to AP.

AFP reported that Iran offered no immediate official comment but its state-run Nour News agency said the attack destroyed the headquarters of the Jaish al Adl (Army of Justice).

Formed in 2012, Jaish al Adl is blacklisted by Iran as a terrorist group and has carried out several attacks on Iranian soil in recent years.

The United States has also labelled Jaish al Adl a terrorist organisation, saying the group “primarily targets Iranian security personnel” but also government officials and civilians with assassinations, kidnappings, and suicide bombings.

The Iranian strikes add to multiple crises across the Middle East, with Israel’s aggression in Gaza and pro-Palestinian Houthis in Yemen attacking commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

Hours before the strike, Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar had met Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland.

Late Tuesday, Iran’s Nour News agency posted on X: “Minutes ago, two important headquarters of the so called Jaish-ul-Adl terrorist group was targeted in Pakistan”.

“These headquarters were destroyed by rockets and drones.”

Michael Kugelman, director of the South Asia Institute at the Washington-based Wilson Center, warned of the seriousness of the strike.

“Iran has staged cross-border operations against Pakistan-based militants in the past, but I don’t recall anything on this scale,” he said on X.

“This plunges Pakistan-Iran ties – a delicate relationship even in the best of times – into serious crisis.”

Beijing urges ‘restraint’

In response to the development, China urged Pakistan and Iran to show “restraint”.

“We call on both sides to exercise restraint, avoid actions that would lead to an escalation of tension and work together to maintain peace and stability,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning told a regular briefing.

“We consider both Iran and Pakistan as close neighbours and major Islamic countries,” she said.

Both Iran and Pakistan are close partners of Beijing and members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

Pakistan recalls ambassador from Iran

The foreign in a statement on Wednesday said Pakistan had decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and expel the Iranian envoy in response to what it termed unprovoked violation of Pakistani airspace by Iran.

“This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever,” said the foreign office in a statement that followed its earlier remarks on Iran’s missile strike on Pakistani territory.

“Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran.

“We have conveyed this message to the Iranian government. We have also informed them that Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being,” it added.

“We have also decided to suspend all high level visits which were ongoing or were planned between Pakistan and Iran in coming days.”

The FO office also termed Iran’s missile strike on Pakistani territory “a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.”

Comments

200 characters
Talha Jan 16, 2024 11:37pm
Vote only imran Khan love you
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Lubna Jan 16, 2024 11:46pm
May Allah keep Pakistan safe. Our Armed forces should respond as it violates our sovereignty
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Waleed Mohammad Ashraf Jan 17, 2024 09:04am
We are with the truth and the truth is Imran Khan, who sacrificed his life for the survival of the homeland is hanced and honored, we are with fairness and fairness from Imran Khan, we are with courage and courage in Imran Khan who said to America Absolutely not, we are with Islam whose words begin with you worship and we seek help اياك نعبد وإياك نستعين Imran Khan Zindabad
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Aslam Tanoli Jan 17, 2024 09:05am
Praying for Pakistan that it avoid greater war. Pakistan army should react as this is violation of our border security and we should not condemn it only
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SECP Jan 17, 2024 09:12am
buss yehe rehgaya thaaa Pakistan mein hona
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Munir Jan 17, 2024 09:28am
@Lubna, our armed forces only respond to $$$.
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Arshad Jan 17, 2024 10:50am
Black Vegos are dispatched to abduct Iranian President. A press conference by him is expected soon begging for forgiveness. He will leave the presidency & politics after it.
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Dexter Jan 17, 2024 10:52am
Elections delay is inevitable now.
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Syed Amjad Ahmed Jan 17, 2024 10:54am
I am quite frustrated that my EOBI arrears starting July 01, 2023 has not been paid till writing of this note. Now its 17th January, 2024 and whenever I go to EOBI office SITE Zone, their reply is that I will receive my arrears next month. Please let me know when I will receive 17% increase arrear announced in the last budget.
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Truthskr Jan 17, 2024 10:59am
@John, the compromised genersls have compromised the security of Pakistsn by aiming all of their guns at IK.
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Truthskr Jan 17, 2024 11:00am
@Lubna, they have failed miserably.
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Dabeer Razvi Jan 17, 2024 11:12am
We should not be carried away by emotions. A cautious and a prudent approach be adopted.
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Parvez Jan 17, 2024 11:42am
It would be worth knowing who is financing the Jaish al Adal.
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Sugon Dzntz Jan 17, 2024 11:46am
Pakistan should vehemently respond and make cutlets out of few! But I doubt it wouldn't happen
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Sohail Jan 17, 2024 11:48am
O o o o wait 9th May was a bigger tradegy, we are still in a trauma
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Muhammad Iftikhar Jan 17, 2024 01:31pm
Pakistan should retaliate and target BLA and Raw Terrorists in Iran. Remember Kalboshan Yadhav was also operating from Iran.
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Jk Jan 17, 2024 03:01pm
@Truthskr, compromised generals and compromised judges.
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Tunio Jan 17, 2024 03:37pm
@Truthskr, Who tame the compromised?
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Imzy v Jan 17, 2024 03:45pm
@Waleed Mohammad Ashraf, so unfortunate, with so shallow thinking and no understanding of our own history, Pakistanis have nothing to say but only copy and paste standard comments.
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Imran s Jan 17, 2024 04:10pm
@Sugon Dzntz, don't forget, the chai was fantastic.....
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Imran s Jan 17, 2024 04:12pm
@Lubna, your country is still using British era laws.
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Doc Asad Jan 17, 2024 04:20pm
This is what happens when institutions do not do their job, neighbors do for us then. Multiple conspiracies are going on right now by both friends and enemies and our rulers also
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Tulukan Mairandi Jan 17, 2024 07:29pm
Pakistan received a nice whacking today, after India and Afghanistan, it's now Iran. By the way, what was our air defense doing? China radars apparently just don't function!!
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Jk Jan 17, 2024 09:49pm
@Hamid, they hsve grommed him!
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KhanRA Jan 18, 2024 01:52am
Is anyone asking why Jaish e Adl camps are operating in Pakistan?
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KhanRA Jan 18, 2024 01:55am
@Tulukan Mairandi, air defences are not geared towards southeast border, rather only on the eastern border where the main threat to Pakistan is. Even in balakot 2019, Indian defences could not stop a Pakistani fighter plan from entering Indian controlled airspace (after India shot down its own helicopter killing 7 soldiers btw).
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HashBrown® Jan 18, 2024 02:04pm
@KhanRA, Thank you for the reply brother - I was about to give this clown a history lesson too, but I couldn't have worded it better than you did...
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