In phone call with Iranian counterpart, Pakistan Army chief seeks bilateral cooperation to ensure border security, stem smuggling
A few days after six security forces personnel were martyred in a targeted explosion near the Pakistan-Iran border, Pakistan Army chief Gen. Qamar Javed Bajwa phoned his Iranian counterpart, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Hossein Bagheri, and discussed how to mutually enhance border security.
In a statement issued by the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR), the Army chief discussed border security and the impact of the coronavirus in the neighboring countries during his conversation with Bagheri. The Chief of Army Staff (COAS) “expressed concerns on recent terrorist attack on Pak security forces resulting in shahadat of 6 security personnel near Pak-Iran border,” the statement added.
The ISPR said both commanders had agreed to enhance security measures on either side of two countries’ shared border, with Gen. Bajwa noting that while Pakistan had started fencing the porous border, “mutual cooperation” was necessary to ensure border security and thwart smuggling. It said that smuggling activities on the border are also “used by terrorists and narcotics traffickers for covering their movement.”
Iran expects the Pakistani military to take decisive action to secure release of three Iranian border guards, Tehran’s state-run IRNA quoted Gen. Bagheri as telling Gen. Bajwa. The guards are believed to be in the captivity of Jaish al-Adl, an Iranian terrorist group operating in the border region.
The two commanders also discussed the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and ways to improve border terminals to address such concerns for people traveling between the two countries.
On Friday, six security forces personnel, including one officer, were martyred and another injured after an improvised explosive device detonated under their vehicle while on routine patrol. In a statement, the ISPR said that the personnel were returning to their base after conducting a patrol in Buleda of the Kech district “to check possible routes used by terrorists in mountainous and extremely treacherous terrain of Makran.”