'Terrorists Around Iran-Pakistan Border Supported By Third Countries,' Claims Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian

'Terrorists Around Iran-Pakistan Border Supported By Third Countries,' Claims Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian

Abdolahian arrived in Pakistan late Sunday night to de-escalate the tension between the two nations following the military strikes conducted earlier this month.

PTIUpdated: Monday, January 29, 2024, 08:05 PM IST
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In an apparent reference to Taliban-led Afghanistan, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian on Monday said there was "no doubt" that militants located in the border areas of Pakistan and Iran were "led and supported by third countries", days after the two neighbours conducted tit-for-tat military strikes at alleged terrorist bases in both countries.

Abdolahian arrived in Pakistan late Sunday night to de-escalate the tension between the two nations following the military strikes conducted earlier this month.

In a joint press conference along with Pakistan Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani, Abdollahian said: "There is no doubt that the terrorists located in the common border regions and areas of Iran and Pakistan are led and supported by third countries and they never favour any good action in line with the benefits of the Iranian and Pakistani governments and nations." He, however, did not name any nation.

On his part, Jilani said Pakistan and Iran have agreed to "establish a high-level constructive mechanism at the level of foreign ministers of the two countries".

Both the nations have agreed to "cooperate to fight terrorism in our respective areas", he said, emphasising the need to "allay and address each other's concerns".

Jilani said the threat of terrorism posed a common challenge to both countries, and, therefore, Islamabad and Tehran have agreed to "adopt collaborative approaches to confront this menace to leverage the robust institutional mechanism".

He said the two sides have agreed to station liaison officers at the Iranian cities of Turbat and Zahedan and an agreement is already in place at the earliest date.

He said Abdolahian's visit to Pakistan at "such short notice" testified to the deep commitment on both sides to solidify ties" with each other.

Taking to X, the Foreign Office said Jilani and Abdollahian have underscored the importance of "robust dialogue and cooperation as the pathway for a positive, forward-oriented and upward trajectory in bilateral relations".

"The two sides agreed to work towards promoting the mutually desired goals of peace and prosperity, based on mutual respect and a collective approach to address common challenges," it said.

Abdolahian's visit comes after Iran and Pakistan narrowly avoided an armed conflict after Iran unilaterally targeted alleged sites of militants inside the Pakistan border area of Punjgur. However, the situation was saved when Tehran restrained itself from retaliating after Islamabad launched retaliatory strikes in response to its action.

Earlier this month, Pakistan conducted "precision military strikes" against what it called "terrorist hideouts" in Iran's Sistan-Baluchistan province that killed nine people. The attack was seen as retaliation to Iranian missile and drone attacks which targeted two bases of the Sunni Baloch militant group Jaish al-Adl in Pakistan's unruly Balochistan province.

Though the ties have improved since the spat, terrorists killed nine Pakistani labourers in Sistan-Baluchistan province of Iran on Saturday, fuelling fresh concerns.

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