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Ormara massacre: Pakistan lodges protest with Iran on 'inaction' against terrorist groups

Updated April 20, 2019

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has lodged a strong protest with Iran regarding the Ormara massacre. — Wikimedia Commons/File
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has lodged a strong protest with Iran regarding the Ormara massacre. — Wikimedia Commons/File

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) lodged a strong protest with Iran regarding its inaction against terror groups believed to be involved in the Ormara massacre early on Thursday.

In a letter written to the Iranian embassy on Friday, the MoFA stated: "Killing of 14 innocent Pakistanis by terrorist groups based in Iran is a very serious incident that Pakistan protests strongly."

As per a copy of the letter received by DawnNewsTV today, 15-20 terrorists camouflaged themselves in Frontier Corps (FC) uniform, barricaded the road and stopped 3-4 buses travelling from Ormara to Gwadar on the coastal highway at Buzi Top before dawn on April 18.

On the identification of the passengers, 14 personnel belonging to the armed forces were shot dead, the letter recalled.

Earlier, it was reported that of the at least 14 people who died in the incident, 11 were personnel of the Navy, Air Force and Coast Guards.

According to the ministry's letter, "BRAS", an alliance of three Baloch terrorist organisations, claimed responsibility for the terrorist act. Following the incident, MoFA said that the terrorists, who had arrived from the border region, returned to that area.

MoFA stated that Pakistan has "repeatedly" shared intelligence about these activities. The ministry added that in the recent past, as well on numerous occasions earlier, "information about the hubs of these Baloch terrorist organisations in Iran, having training camps and logistics bases across the border" was shared with the Iranian intelligence.

"Unfortunately, no action has been taken by Iran in this regard, to date," the letter stated.

While lodging Pakistan's protest against the deaths in Ormara, the MoFA added that Pakistan was awaiting Iran's response to its "request for action against these groups based in Iran, whose locations have been identified by Pakistan a number of times."

The ministry called on the embassy to convey the concerns to the relevant authorities in Iran for "prompt action".

"The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the esteemed embassy the assurances of its highest consideration," the letter concluded.

A day earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had condemned the attack.

In a post shared on Twitter, Zarif wrote: "Strongly condemning the recent terrorist attack in Pakistan, just as PM [Imran Khan] embarks on his first, historic visit to Iran."

"Terrorists, extremists and their sponsors are terrified by close relations between Muslim states," Zarif wrote, adding that Iran stands with the Pakistani people and government.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is set to visit Iran for a two-day official visit starting tomorrow (Sunday).

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will pay an official visit to Iran on April 21-22, 2019, on the invitation of President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, His Exce­llency Hassan Rouhani. This will be the first visit of the Prime Minister to Iran,” the Foreign Office had announced on Monday.