Army chief seeks Iran’s cooperation in dealing with militants

Published May 12, 2020
Last Friday, six troops were martyred while on patrol in Buleda. — ISPR/File
Last Friday, six troops were martyred while on patrol in Buleda. — ISPR/File

ISLAMABAD: Chief of the Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa on Monday sought Iran’s cooperation in dealing with Baloch militants allegedly operating from its soil.

Gen Bajwa called Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Forces Maj Gen Mohammad Baqeri against the backdrop of last Friday’s attack on a Frontier Corps patrol in the Buleda area of Kech district in which six troops, including Major Nadeem Bhatti, were martyred.

The attack, which took place about 14km from the Pak-Iran border, was claimed by the banned Baloch Libera­tion Army.

The Inter-Services Public Relations did not issue any statement on the conversation.

However, Iranian official newswire Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) rep­orted that the two generals discussed military developments, security of borders and the coronavirus crisis.

Gen Bajwa, IRNA rep­orted, “urged the exchange of expert delegations to maintain border security and prevent terrorist moves on common borders”. He also informed the Iranian commander about the measures being taken by the Pakistan government to prevent unauthorised cross-border movement.

Pakistan and Iran share over 900km-long border, which is infested with criminal gangs, militants and drug traffickers. Terrorist groups operating along the border have in the past carried out several attacks. Therefore, border security has for long remained a major irritant in bilateral ties. The terrorist groups based near the border have existed because of deep mistrust between the two countries.

The two neighbours have, however, over the past few years cooperated extensively in improving border security by undertaking several measures, including deployment of additional troops.

Gen Bajwa had in his maiden visit to Iran in 2017 as the army chief called the Pakistan-Iran border the “border of peace and friendship” and vowed closer cooperation with Tehran to ensure security in the region.

Pakistan and Iran had during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Tehran in April last year agreed to the setting up of a joint rapid reaction force for curbing activities of terrorist groups along the porous border.

Gen Baqeri, while talking to Gen Bajwa, expressed readiness for cooperation against the miscreants and called for enhancement of security measures at the borders so as to prevent the terrorist groups and “common enemies” from creating problems at the borders.

Iran expects Pakistani military officials to take decisive action to secure release of three Iranian border guards, IRNA quoted Gen Baqeri as having told Gen Bajwa.

The Iranian guards are believed to be in the captivity of Jaish al-Adl, an Iranian terrorist group operating in the border region.

Pakistan has since November 2018 helped Iran recover nine of the 12 guards who were abducted in October that year from a border post near Mirjaveh.

Published in Dawn, May 12th, 2020

Opinion

Casualties of war
17 Sep 2021

Casualties of war

As we ruminate over the consequences of America making a mockery of international law, it is equally important to take an inward
Love of wealth
17 Sep 2021

Love of wealth

Those obsessed with wealth are likely to be involved in corrupt practices.
Pro-rich growth
Updated 17 Sep 2021

Pro-rich growth

An intellectually honest prognosis of our political economy for the working class makes for grim reading.

Editorial

TTP amnesty?
Updated 17 Sep 2021

TTP amnesty?

An amnesty should be for some individuals, not the entire outfit.
17 Sep 2021

Media regulation

THE needless controversy over media regulation may finally be heading for a resolution. In a meeting with ...
17 Sep 2021

Refusing audit

THE continuous resistance put up by several public-sector organisations to submitting their accounts for audit by ...
Aid for Afghans
16 Sep 2021

Aid for Afghans

Humanitarian aid can resume even if the world decides to hold back on formal recognition of the regime for now.
16 Sep 2021

Wheat price

THE government’s decision to raise the wheat release price, or the rate at which provinces issue their grain ...
16 Sep 2021

Keeping the press out

ON Monday, the government yet again displayed its rising contempt for the freedom of press — this time in...