Iran threatens to hit militant ‘Safe Havens’ inside Pakistan
Warning Islamabad, Major General Mohammad Baqeri, the head of the Iranian armed forces, said that Tehran would hit bases inside Pakistan if the government does not confront militants who carry out cross-border attacks.
“We cannot accept the continuation of this situation,” Major General Mohammad Baqeri was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
“We expect the Pakistani officials to control the borders, arrest the terrorists and shut down their bases,” he warned.
The warning came after ten Iranian Border Guards were killed by militants last month.
According to Iran, Jaish-al-Adl – a militant group – had shot the guards with long-range guns, fired from inside Pakistan.
Iran-Pakistan border region has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and separatist militants.
“If the terrorist attacks continue, we will hit their safe havens and cells, wherever they are,” Baqeri thundered.
Interestingly, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had visited Pakistan last week and asked Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to improve the border security.
Pakistan, in return, promised that it would deploy additional troops along its border.
In 2014 too, Iran had warned it would send troops to Pakistan to retrieve five Iranian border guards kidnapped by Jaish al Adl.
Pakistan had then said that such action would be violation of the international law and warned Iranian forces not to cross the border.
Iran refrained from sending the troops when a local cleric stepped in and resolved the situation.
Jaish al Adl is a militant group that has carried out several attacks against Iranian security forces with the aim of highlighting what they say is discrimination against minority groups in Iran.
The group claimed responsibility for attacks that killed eight border guards in April 2015 and 14 border guards in October 2013.