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Pakistan and Iran conform to work collectively to enhance safety after tit-for-tat airstrikes

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Pakistan’s caretaker Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani and Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian attend a joint press convention in Islamabad, Pakistan, January 29, 2024.
| Photo Credit: Reuters

Pakistan and Iran on January 29 agreed to work collectively to enhance safety cooperation within the wake of lethal airstrikes by Tehran and Islamabad earlier this month that killed a minimum of 11 individuals, marking a big escalation in fraught relations between the neighbors.

The growth got here after the highest Iranian diplomat, Hossein Amirabdollahian, held talks in Islamabad together with his Pakistani counterpart, Jalil Abbas Jilani. The Iranian Foreign Minister additionally met with Pakistan’s caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul-Haq-Kakar.

Iran-Pakistan ties have been dramatically imperiled on Jan. 17, when Iran launched airstrikes in Pakistan’s restive southwestern Baluchistan province, focusing on what Tehran mentioned have been hideouts of the anti-Iran Sunni militant group Jaish al-Adl, or the Army of Justice. Pakistan mentioned two youngsters have been killed and tree others have been wounded.

Angered over the strikes, Pakistan recalled its ambassadors from Tehran and launched airstrikes towards alleged militant hideouts inside Iran, within the Sistan and Baluchestan province, killing a minimum of 9 individuals. Islamabad mentioned it was focusing on Baluch militant teams with separatist targets.

At a joint information convention in a while January 29, Mr. Amirabdollahian and Mr. Jilani mentioned they might work by present channels of their management, diplomatic and army ranges to cooperate with one another.

Mr. Jilani mentioned the 2 international locations have been in a position to convey the “situation back to normal in the shortest possible time” after the airstrikes as a result of each side had agreed to renew dialogue to resolve all points.

“Terrorism poses a common challenge to our countries,” Mr. Jilani said and stressed that “respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity remains the immutable and foundational principle of this cooperation” between the neighbors.

He announced regular future meetings at top ministerial levels and also between liaison officers.

Iran and Pakistan “strongly respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of each other,” Mr. Amirabdollahian. “We will tell all terrorists that we will not … provide them with any opportunity to endanger our common security.”

Mr. Amirabdollahian mentioned Pakistan and Iran can even arrange free commerce financial zones close to the border areas to boost their bilateral commerce.

Iran and nuclear-armed Pakistan have lengthy regarded one another with suspicion over militant assaults on their sides of the border. Experts say the tit-for-tat strikes this month have been a minimum of partially prompted by inside political pressures although additionally they raised the specter of violence spreading throughout the Middle East, already unsettled by Israel’s struggle with Hamas in Gaza.

During his go to, Mr. Amirabdollahian was additionally anticipating to transient his hosts about an incident Saturday during which unknown gunmen shot and killed a minimum of 4 Pakistani laborers and wounded three others in Iran’s Sistan and Baluchestan province. Pakistan has condemned the killings, describing the assault as “horrifying and despicable”.

Relatives of the slain Pakistanis rallied on January 28, demanding that the our bodies of their family members be introduced dwelling. Pakistan mentioned preparations have been being made for that with Iran’s assist and that the three wounded staff have been being handled at an Iranian hospital.

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