KARACHI: Pakistan Army Chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa has assured his Iranian counterpart of accelerated efforts for search and rescue of the Iranian border guards abducted by the separatist group Jaish Al-Adl last week.
Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri has called on Bajwa to take urgent and decisive measures for the arrest of the militants who abducted 14 Iranian security forces. According to an Iranian news agency, they have been transferred by their kidnappers to Pakistan.
Jaish Al-Adl, meaning Army of Justice – an Iranian Sunni militant group based in the Sistan and Baluchistan province of Iran – has claimed responsibility for the abduction.
On Tuesday, the group said it had abducted the Iranian security force personnel who comprised members of the Revolutionary Guards and intelligence from the Mirawa area near the border with Pakistan.
While confirming a phone conversation between the two army chiefs, a senior security official told Arab News on Sunday that security forces are committed to continuing their war against the terrorists.
“It’s yet to be ascertained if the abductors have brought the Iranian border guards to the Pakistani side of the border but if they are on Pakistan’s soil, Pakistan’s security forces will leave no stone unturned to recover the guards,” the official told Arab News, on condition of not being named as the Pakistan army’s media wing has yet to issue an official release regarding the phone conversation.
“Pakistan has noted with concern the reports of the abduction of 12 Iranian border guards from Iran. Both militaries, under a joint mechanism established last year, are working to ascertain the whereabouts of the Iranian guards. DG MOs from two sides are coordinating actions in this regard,” Pakistan’s foreign office said in a handout issued last Tuesday.
“No effort will be spared to assist our Iranian brothers in finding the guards,” it added.
A day later, Pakistan’s foreign office said the Foreign Minister of Iran Javad Zarif had called Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to discuss the situation that followed the guards’ abduction near the Pakistan-Iran border point of Mirjaveh, on Oct. 16.
“FM Shah Mahmood Qureshi expressed his serious concern about the incident. He also briefed Mr. Zarif about the active efforts launched by the Pakistan law enforcement agencies to ascertain the whereabouts of the missing Iranian guards, in coordination with the Iranian military and intelligence counterparts,” the Pakistan foreign office said.
Qureshi said such incidents are the handiwork of our common enemies unhappy with the existing close, friendly relations between Pakistan and Iran.
“Reaffirming Pakistan’s commitment not to allow anyone to succeed in such malicious efforts, Mr. Qureshi noted that Pakistan and Iran have traditionally shared a ‘border of peace and friendship’ which would be maintained in the same spirit,” a foreign office release read.