Iran seeks army chief’s help over kidnapped guards

Updated October 21, 2018

Email

Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.— File
Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa.— File

ISLAMABAD: Iran’s top military commander Maj Gen Mohammad Hossein Bagheri on Saturday phoned Pakistan Army chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and urged him to intensify efforts for search and rescue of kidnapped Iranian border guards.

In his conversation, Gen Bagheri asked Gen Bajwa to take “decisive and urgent” steps for the recovery of the abducted guards, according to Iranian media. In this regard he referred to an agreement between the militaries of the two countries for ensuring normality along the Pak-Iran border.

Take a look: Iranian forces shell border villages

Twelve Iranian guards were kidnapped by militants on Tuesday from a post in Mirjaveh region close to the border. Jaish al-Adl, a terrorist group operating in the region, had claimed responsibility for their kidnapping.

Iranian leaders believe the militants moved the guards to Pakistan after taking them hostage.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif had on Wednesday called his Pakistani counterpart and had requested for early recovery of the guards.

The heads of military operations of the two armies have been coordinating the search effort. Air surveillance has been stepped up and additional troops have been deployed near the area where the incident took place.

The Iranian commander further asked Gen Bajwa to enhance troop presence along the border to ensure normality and prevent illegal crossing of the frontier.

The Iranian media quoted Gen Bajwa as having expressed the hope that efforts made by Pakistani law enforcement agencies would soon lead to the recovery of the hostages.

Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister and foreign minister of Qatar, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, called on Gen Bajwa and discussed matters of mutual interest, including regional security, with him, adds APP.

A press release issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations quoted the army chief as saying during the meeting that Pakistan would keep contributing positively towards regional peace and stability.

Published in Dawn, October 21st, 2018