Iranian threat

IN a highly unfriendly development, head of Iranian armed forces Major Gen Mohammad Baqeri has warned that his country would hit alleged bases inside Pakistan if militants carrying out cross-border attacks were not controlled. State news agency IRNA quoted him as saying that “We will not tolerate this situation in the joint borders and expect Pakistani officials to show responsibility, control their borders, arrest terrorists and shut down outlaws’ bases”.
Pakistan and Iran are not only neighbours but also enjoy historical linkages covering faith, culture, history and economy. They always stood by each other at critical junctures providing moral and material support. Differences do crop up and that too when you have a long shared border spanning over 900 kms. Manning a long border that passes through most difficult terrains of the region is not an easy task and desired results can only be achieved through joint border management for which the two countries have been talking to each other. Pakistan has always been cooperative in the endeavours to protect and safeguard the border and that is why it did not raise any strong objection to construction of a 700 kms border wall by Iran from Taftan to Mand despite opposition by Provincial Assembly of Balochistan, which believed the wall would create problems for Baloch people whose land straddled across the border. Pakistan has also deployed additional troops on Pak-Iran border to assuage apprehensions of Tehran but it should also be noted that our armed forces are also engaged on multiple fronts including war on terror, tension on Durand Line and unending provocations on Line of Control and the Working Boundary. Under these circumstances, it would not be fair to expect foolproof border management especially when our own people are being killed frequently in suicide attacks and bomb blasts. Iranian threat has been widely lamented by public opinion in Pakistan and by doing so publicly Tehran has done nothing but pleased enemies of Islam who want Muslims to fight among themselves. Instead of going public, Iran should have taken up the matter at various forums and mechanisms available for the purpose. We would also urge Pakistani authorities to take up with Tehran the longstanding issue of Iranian involvement in fanning sectarian divide in the country that also distracts attention and energies of law-enforcing agencies.

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