Iran threatens to send forces into Pakistani territory

Published February 17, 2014
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.—Photo by Masoud Bahadouri/Creative Commons
Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli.—Photo by Masoud Bahadouri/Creative Commons

TEHRAN: Tehran's interior minister has warned Pakistan that Iranian forces may enter Pakistani and Afghan territory to release border guards reported to have been seized by a rebel group.

Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli's remarks on state TV come a week after the little-known Jaish al-Adl posted photos on Twitter of five men it claims are border guards it seized near Pakistan.

He said Iran had asked Pakistan to treat the case “strongly and seriously” or allow Iran to secure the remote region “deep on Afghanistan and Pakistan soil.”

“Otherwise we do consider it our own right to intervene and create a new security sphere for our safety,” he said.—AP

Reuters adds: According to Iranian media reports, the guards were seized on February 6 in the Iranian province of Sistan-Balochistan by militants who allegedly took them across the border to Pakistan.

The area where the kidnappings took place has a history of unrest, with the mainly Sunni Muslim population complaining of discrimination by Iran's Shia Muslim authorities, a charge Iran denies.

Iranian security forces have also fought drug traffickers in the region that borders Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The Iranian armed forces' deputy chief of staff was quoted as telling the semi-official Fars news agency that Iran would “show tough confrontation in this case.”

“We will have no soft stand in this case and our neighbouring country ... should account for its lack of action,” Major General Hossein Hassani Sa'di told reporters in Tehran on Monday, according to Fars English language website.

Sa'di said the guards were still alive, and underlined that “political and military measures are underway to set them free”, without elaborating.

Interior Minister Rahmani-Fazli said an Iranian delegation would visit Pakistan on Monday to secure the guards' release, state news agency ISNA reported.

In October, 14 Iranian border guards were killed and three others captured in the same area in an attack that ISNA said was carried out by Jaish al-Adl.—Reuters

Opinion

A dangerous bargain
Updated 17 Jun 2021

A dangerous bargain

Budget for FY22 faces massive risks such as inflation and a resurgence of the trade deficit.
The Falmouth diet
17 Jun 2021

The Falmouth diet

The Charter is an obsequious affirmation of US’s papacy.

Editorial

Shameful behaviour
17 Jun 2021

Shameful behaviour

Both opposition and treasury members should create space for opinions to be heard and aired.
17 Jun 2021

Sindh budget

A CURSORY reading of the Sindh budget 2021-22 reinforces the impression that Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s...
17 Jun 2021

West on China

IN what seems like a distinct return to Cold War rhetoric, the Western bloc has issued back-to-back statements...
Centre-Sindh tension
Updated 16 Jun 2021

Centre-Sindh tension

Such an adversarial state of affairs is not sustainable without damaging the working of the federation.
16 Jun 2021

Punjab budget

PUNJAB is where the battle for power will be fought in 2023. Punjab is also where PTI parliamentarians are perhaps...
16 Jun 2021

Haj decision for women

WHILE this year’s Haj will again be marked by a limited number of pilgrims, the Saudi government’s decision to...