Pakistan-Iran tension escalates as Islamabad responds with airstrikes

Image of Saravan,Iran hit by Pakistan. Photo- Twitter.

NEW DELHI, January 18: Tension escalates between Pakistan and Iran after Pakistan struck at seven locations in Iran, after Iran’s airstrikes in Pakistan. Earlier, India justified the Iranian airstrikes as taken in self-defence. It said:

“This is a matter between Iran and Pakistan. Insofar as India is concerned, we have an uncompromising position of zero tolerance towards terrorism. We understand actions that countries take in their self defence.”

India has a complete zero tolerance for terrorism and understands the actions that countries take in their self-defence, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Randhir Jaiswal said in an official statement over the Iranian airstrikes in Pakistan.

ANI adds:

Earlier today, amid the diplomatic standoff over Iranian airstrike on a terror camp in Balochistan, Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahain said the air attacks in Pakistan targeted an “Iranian terrorist group” and Tehran government had asked Pakistan several times to take action on the group.

“The so-called Jaish al-Adl group, which is an Iranian terrorist group, was targeted,” Abdollahian said on Wednesday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
“The group has taken shelter in some parts of Pakistan’s Balochistan province. This group killed our security forces. We only targeted Iranian terrorist group on the soil of Pakistan. He emphasised that while Iran respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan, it would not “allow the country’s national security to be compromised or played with”.

“We have no hesitation when it comes to national interests and those terrorist groups inside Pakistan” the Iranian Foreign Minister said.

Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice), a Sunni Muslim armed group, has previously launched attacks on Iranian security forces in the border area with Pakistan. Following Iran’s launch of a barrage of missiles on Pakistan, Islamabad on Wednesday expelled the Iranian ambassador and recalled its ambassador from Tehran, Geo News reported.

“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,” Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said while addressing a press briefing in Islamabad.

Earlier, Iran attacked the headquarters of a terrorist group opposed to Tehran with drones and missiles inside Pakistan territory on late hours of Tuesday.
Pakistan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty is “completely unacceptable” and warned of serious consequences. It further said that Iran has taken this action despite the existence of several channels of communication between the two nations.

“Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act and the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran,” Baloch said, adding that Islamabad had conveyed the message to the Iranian government,” the foreign ministry spokesperson said.

Formed in 2012, Jaish al-Adl, designated as a “terrorist” organisation by Iran, is a Sunni terrorist group that operates in Iran’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.
Over the years, Jaish al-Adl has launched numerous attacks on Iranian security forces. In December, Jaish al-Adl took responsibility for an attack on a police station in Sistan-Balochistan that claimed the lives of at least 11 police personnel, Al Arabiya News reported.

Sistan-Balochistan borders Afghanistan and Pakistan. The region has a history of clashes between Iran’s security forces and Sunni terrorists, as well as drug smugglers, Al Arabiya News reported.

Dawn news reported that last month, at least 11 Iranian police officers were killed in an attack overnight on a police station in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, while visiting the site, had urged Pakistan to prevent terrorist groups from establishing bases within its borders.

The attacks in Pakistan were carried out a day after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) launched missiles into Iraq’s Kurdistan region at what it called an Israeli “spy headquarters” and at alleged ISIS-linked targets in Syria, the report said.

By SAT News Desk & ANI

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