Sushma Swaraj makes Tehran stopover as Pakistan faces India-Iran anger over attacks on forces

February 18, 2019

NEW DELHI (news18.com) Iran and India delivered a stern message to Pakistan when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj made a brief stopover in Iran on Saturday, days after both countries lost soldiers to attacks carried out by terrorists operating from Pakistani soil.

Swaraj met Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Seyed Abbas Aragchchi while enroute to Bulgaria as part of her three-nation tour. 

"Iran and India suffered from two heinous terrorist attacks in the past few days resulted in big casualties. Today in my meeting with Sushma Swaraj the Indian FM, when she had a stopover in Tehran, we agreed on close cooperation to combat terrorism in the region. Enough is enough!" Araghchi tweeted.

While India lost 40 CRPF jawans to a terror attack carried out by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama on Thursday, Iran's Revolutionary Guards has accused "Pakistan's security forces" of supporting the perpetrators of a suicide bombing that killed 27 of its troops on Wednesday.

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, has blamed Pakistan's army and Inter-Services Intelligence agency, saying that "sheltering and silence" amounts to supporting the perpetrators, a reference to jihadist outfit Jaish al-Adl ("Army of Justice").

Jaish al-Adl was formed in 2012 as a successor to the Sunni extremist group Jundallah (Soldiers of God), which waged a deadly insurgency for a decade before it was severely weakened by the capture and execution of its leader Abdolmalek Rigi in 2010.

Swaraj’s stopover at Iran comes a day ahead of a planned two-day visit to Pakistan by Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), the crown prince of Iran's regional arch-rival Saudi Arabia. After Pakistan, MBS will travel to India, where he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

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