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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday decided to downgrade its diplomatic ties with Iran by recalling its ambassador from Tehran and suspending all high-level visits following Tuesday night’s “unprovoked and blatant breach” of the country’s sovereignty after Iran carried out strikes in Panjgur, Balochistan.

In a televised statement, Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch stated that Pakistan has conveyed the message to Iran and also asked not to send back its ambassador to Pakistan “for the time being,” who is currently in 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,” she said.

Pakistan condemns airspace violation by Iran

She stated that Tuesday night’s “unprovoked and blatant breach” of Pakistan’s sovereignty by Iran is a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations.

“This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever. Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act. The responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran,” Baloch further stated, adding that Pakistan has also decided to suspend all high-level visits which were ongoing or were planned between Pakistan and Iran in the coming days.

The statement comes following Iran conducted strikes inside Pakistan which it claimed to have targeted two alleged bases of a terrorist organisation – Jaish al-Adl – with drones and missiles and to have destroyed its so-called “headquarters”, according to reports by the Iranian semi-state news agency, Tasnim.

However, Pakistan rejected the claims and strongly condemned it as an “unprovoked violation of its airspace” which resulted in the death of two innocent children while injuring three girls.

“This violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is completely unacceptable and can have serious consequences. It is even more concerning that this illegal act has taken place despite the existence of several channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran,” the Foreign Office spokesperson said on Tuesday night.

Following the strikes, Pakistan also lodged a strong protest with the concerned senior official in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran, besides summoning the Iranian charge d’ affaires in Islamabad to convey its strongest condemnation of the “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,” Baloch further stated.

Responding to Business Recorder’s question with regard to the perception in some media outlets that Pakistan was allegedly taken into confidence by Iran prior to strikes given the caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar’s meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian on the sidelines of World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos on Tuesday, the Foreign Office spokesperson rejected this as “absolutely false”.

Talking to media persons in Tehran on Wednesday on the sidelines of the cabinet meeting, Iran’s Defence Minister Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Ashtiani said that Iran’s Armed Forces “know no bounds in safeguarding the national interests and protecting the nation”.

“We see no limitations in defending our national interests and the people, and will certainly do this authoritatively. No matter where threats against the Islamic Republic come from, we will react and the response will surely be proportionate, decisive and strong,” various Iranian media outlets quoted the country’s defence minister to have stated these in the context of Iran’s earlier strikes in Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region and Syria without mentioning Pakistan.

Meanwhile, China has urged Pakistan and Iran to show “restraint” following the incident. “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. We consider both Iran and Pakistan as close neighbours and major Islamic countries,” China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Mao Ning said while speaking at her regular media briefing in Beijing on Wednesday.

The British government condemned the Iranian attack on Pakistani territory, saying it is completely unacceptable.

“Iran’s attack on Pakistani territory, which has killed innocent children, is completely unacceptable. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost loved ones.

The UK will continue to work with international partners to hold Iran to account,“ said the UK’s Minister of State Foreign Commonwealth & Development Affairs (South Asia, Middle East and North Africa) Lord (Tariq) Ahmad of Wimbledon, in a statement on the social media platform, X.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Number One Jan 18, 2024 07:43am
Did Pakistan recall its ambassador from America when they attacked Usama house in Abbottabad? Then the PM Yousaf Raza Gilani congratulated America on their successful attack on Pakistani territory. Iran has attacked those militant organizations in Baluchistan which are funded by Americans to attack Iran. It is time to leave Pakistan, there is nothing left for Pakistanis to continue living in a slave country ruled by America and controlled by corrupt generals who are only loyal to America and not to Pakistan.
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Sajid Jan 18, 2024 08:09am
so much for the muslim brotherhood lol
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Usman Jan 18, 2024 09:36am
We should strike too.kulbashan Yadav was allowed to run his operations from Iran.Iranians are and will never be friend of any one.we can buy them with money which we don't have now.
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