Islamabad also summons Iranian ambassador to protest killing of Pakistani security official.
Iran has summoned the Pakistani ambassador and demanded immediate steps to stop attacks by “terrorists and rebels” that sparked deadly clashes on the countries’ border, state media reported Sunday.
Noor Muhammad Jadmani was called to the foreign ministry on Saturday evening following the deaths in the restive border province of Sistan-Baluchistan, the official IRNA news agency said. Two Iranian border guards and a Pakistani paramilitary officer were killed in a shooting on Thursday evening, sources on the two sides said. Iran said rebels had tried to infiltrate the country.
“It is unacceptable that terrorists and rebels attack our country from Pakistani territory and kill our border guards,” the foreign ministry’s western Asia director, Rasul Salami, told IRNA. He asked the Pakistani government to “take serious steps to prevent any recurrence of such incidents,” the news agency said.
Pakistan, meanwhile, summoned the Iranian ambassador and demanded an investigation into the killing of its paramilitary official by Iranian border guards.
“If Iran has evidence that elements from Pakistan are involved in activities against Iran, they should share it with us,” said Tasnim Aslam, the spokeswoman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, during a weekly press briefing. “Our information is that these incidents took place inside Iranian territory by Iranians and that is corroborated by their own accounts. It is not helpful to externalize problems.”
Thursday’s border shooting came after rebel attacks killed five people in Sistan-Baluchistan province earlier this month, four of them security personnel. Iranian media said 14 people were arrested in connection with those attacks.
Last month, an Iranian soldier was killed and two pro-government militiamen wounded in an attack authorities blamed on Sunni extremist group Jaish-ul Adl.
The same group captured five Iranian troops in February, four of whom were released in April. The fifth soldier is presumed dead but his fate remains officially unknown.
Sistan-Baluchistan has a large Sunni Muslim community in otherwise predominantly Shia Iran and it has been plagued by violence involving Sunni extremists and drug smugglers. Ethnic Baloch straddle the border into Pakistan’s Balochistan province, where a long-running separatist conflict was revived in 2004. The nationalists charge that the central government in Islamabad has exploited the region’s natural resources and committed human rights abuses.