ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday blamed elements opposed to Pakistan-Iran ties for the recent abduction of Iranian border guards.

“Such incidents are the handiwork of our common enemies unhappy with the existing close, friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran,” a Foreign Office statement quoted Mr Qureshi as having told his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif during their telephonic conversation.

The Iranian foreign minister had called Mr Qureshi to discuss the situation arising out of kidnapping of 12 guards by militants from a post near the border a day earlier.

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, in an earlier statement, had held the agents of “anti-[Islamic] Revolution terrorist groups” and “foreign [spy] agencies” responsible for the incident, which has been claimed by Jaish-al-Adl, a terrorist group operating in the region.

The Iranian foreign minister, in a phone conversation, requested Islamabad to enhance security measures along the border

Pakistan government has already assured the Iranian officials of its full cooperation in tracing the kidnapped guards. The heads of military operations of the two countries have been coordinating the search effort. Air surveillance has been stepped up and troops have been deployed near the border area where the incident took place.

“Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment of not allowing anyone succeed in such malicious efforts, Mr Qureshi noted that Pakistan and Iran have shared a ‘border of peace and friendship’ which would be maintained in the same spirit,” the FO statement added.

Mr Zarif during the conversation requested the Pakistani government to enhance the security along the border by increasing troops’ deployment and other measures. He also urged the Pakistani authorities to act swiftly for recovering the hostages and arresting the elements behind the terrorist incident in accordance with the previous understandings.

Published in Dawn, October 18th, 2018

Opinion

Karachi development
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Karachi development

Our planners must learn that infrastructure and services are essential to economic progress.
The government’s emerging traits
Updated 12 Apr 2021

The government’s emerging traits

Frequent bureaucratic changes signify a whimsical way of governing and reflect knee-jerk reactions to the criticism of the day.

Editorial

Reform after Daska
Updated 13 Apr 2021

Reform after Daska

Electoral malpractice generates instability and delegitimises the mandate of the winner, triggering one crisis after another.
13 Apr 2021

Reinstating LGs

THE PTI government in Punjab is sending confused and conflicting signals to people when it comes to the critical...
13 Apr 2021

Remembering I.A. Rehman

THE quest for a progressive society in Pakistan, at peace with itself and its neighbours, suffered a big setback in...
Pakistan-India peace
Updated 12 Apr 2021

Pakistan-India peace

Experts note that everything — including Kashmir — can be resolved if there is a will in both capitals.
12 Apr 2021

Child abuse

IN its annual report, the NGO Sahil found that there has been a 4pc increase in documented cases of major crimes...
12 Apr 2021

New tax chief’s task

THE FBR got a new chairman on Friday. Asim Ahmed, a senior IRS officer who was serving as the Board’s IT member...