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Pakistan lodges protest with Iran over killing of soldier at border

Updated October 18, 2014

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This picture shows an Iranian border guard looking through a pair of binoculars to monitor a border area. — File photo/AFP
This picture shows an Iranian border guard looking through a pair of binoculars to monitor a border area. — File photo/AFP

QUETTA/ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office lodged a strong protest with Iran on Saturday after the neighbouring country’s border guards stormed into Pakistani territory and killed a security official.

Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan Ali Raza Haghighian was summoned to the Foreign Office in Islamabad today, diplomatic sources said, and Pakistan lodged a strong protest with him over the recent incident.

Diplomatic sources confirmed that during the meeting, the Foreign Office demanded the Iranian ambassador to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident, which also resulted in injuries to four other Pakistanis.

The protest came hours after Iranian forces again fired mortar shells into Pakistani territory earlier on Saturday.

Security officials told Dawn that Iranian border guards fired three mortar shells in Mashkail, a Pakistani town bordering Iran.

A security official who requested anonymity said that the shells landed in deserted areas close to the sparsely populated town in Balochistan province.

"The mortar shell attack caused panic among the people," the official said, adding that Frontier Corps (FC) and Levies personnel reached the spot and security was tightened around the border.

No casualty was reported in the attack, the official added.

The shelling came after a junior officer of the FC was killed in an attack by Iranian border forces in Mand area of Balochistan's Kech district. Four FC personnel were injured.

Also read: Pakistan asks Iran not to ‘externalise’ its problems

Moreover, the Balochistan government demanded that the centre take up the issue of continued border violations by Iranian border guards with the Iranian foreign office.

Jan Muhammad Buledi, spokesman for the Balochistan government, stated that Iran had been violating Pakistani territory and attacking civilians for the past three days. Buledi has demanded Islamabad to take up this issue with the Iranian foreign office and lodge a formal protest in this regard.

Earlier on Friday, the Iranian border guards had stormed inside the Mand area of Balochistan and had attacked a vehicle of Frontier Corps, killing one soldier and injuring three others.

Khan Wasay, a spokesman for FC troops in Balochistan, told Dawn that at least 30 Iranian border guards had entered into Pakistan's bordering town of Nokundi and made the residents hostage for six hours.

"We have sent a formal letter to Islamabad regarding Iranian intervention and violation," Akbar Hussain Durrani, Secretary Home and Tribal Affairs Department Balochistan told Dawn.

Durrani said the provincial government had taken up the matter seriously and urged the capital to raise this issue with Tehran.


Iran says militants infiltrating from Pakistan


Meanwhile, an Iranian military official said that authorities have proof that militants were entering the country from neighboring Pakistan to carry out attacks and will be pursuing the matter through “diplomatic channels.”

Abdollah Araghi, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander, was quoted by state TV on Saturday as saying that his forces have provided documents to Iranian officials proving that militants cross the border to carry out attacks.

“We have provided information and complete documents about the infiltration of terrorist elements (from Pakistan into Iran) to political and security officials to be pursued through diplomatic channels,” he said— AP