A day after Islamabad urged Tehran to act against armed groups behind the killings in Pakistan’s Balochistan province earlier this week, Pakistani Prime Minister, Imran Khan left on a two-day official visit to Iran.
Tense Border Security Issues Between Pakistan & Iran
Ties between Iran and Pakistan have been strained in recent months, with both sides accusing each other of not doing enough to stamp out armed groups allegedly sheltering across the border.
A new umbrella group BRAS, representing various armed groups operating in Pakistan’s southwestern Balochistan province claimed responsibility for an attack last week in the Buzi Top area. Reportedly fourteen passengers (Pakistan Navy personnel) were selectively picked out, forcibly offloaded from the bus and then shot dead by this group on the Makran Coastal Highway in Ormara, Balochistan.
The wordings of the letter written to the Iranian embassy by MoFA on Friday, further reveal the tense situation prevailing between the two neighbors.
Tehran too has stepped up security along its long border with Pakistan after a suicide bomber killed 27 members of Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guard in mid-February in southeastern Iran, with Iranian officials saying the attackers were based inside Pakistan. Brigadier-General Mohammad Pakpour said that the suicide bomber – Hafiz Mohammad Ali along with two other members of the cell behind the attack were also Pakistani nationals.
Tehran says the Sunni group Jaish al-Adl operates mostly out of bases in Pakistan and has repeatedly blamed Pakistan for sheltering individuals connected with attacks in the countries border areas.
Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi toldIran’s state-run IRNA news agency that Iran faced threats from “a number of hostile intelligence services who work in tandem with these groups”. He had also warned of a harsh response.
Without further elaboration, he said foreign intelligence services are supporting “anti-Islamic Revolution” terrorist groups in full force. Alavi’s comments echoed previous remarks made by former commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and that of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Purpose of Imran Khan’s visit