Iran: Pakistan has not met expectations in fighting terrorism

February 20, 2019

TEHRAN - Iranian Deputy Interior Minister Hossein Zolfaghari has said that the Pakistani government has not met Iran’s expectations in countering terrorism.

“Pakistan’s actions in countering terrorists have not fulfilled our expectations,” ISNA quoted him as saying on Wednesday.

Zolfaghari said Pakistanis have taken some actions, however, they are not enough.

On February 13, a car laden with explosives hit a bus of IRGC soldiers on Zahedan-Khash road in the border province of Sistan-Balouchestan, killing 27 and injuring the remaining 13.

Iran has strongly criticized Islamabad for failing to protect its borders with Iran, saying Pakistan has been turned into a safe haven for terrorist outfits such as Jaish al-Adl, which claimed responsibility for the Feb. 13 attack.

On Sunday, the Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Riffat Masood, the Pakistani ambassador to Tehran, over the terrorist attack.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Iran “explicitly conveyed” to Ambassador Masoud that Tehran expects Islamabad and its military “to make a serious and decisive action” against Jaish al-Adl  and its base inside Pakistan. Qassemi also said the ministry asked Pakistan to take “immediate and necessary measures” to identify and arrest the attackers.

In an interview with IRNA published on Tuesday, Masood said, “Pakistan will continue to work with Iran to bring an end to terrorism that affects our region.”

Jaish al-Adl was founded after its parent group, the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jundullah, was dissolved following the capture and execution of its leader, Abdolmalek Rigi, by Iran in 2010.

In 2013, the group abducted and killed 14 Iranian forces in an ambush near the Iranian-Pakistani border.

The following year, at least five members of the Iranian security forces were also abducted.

In October 2018, the armed group abducted 12 Iranian security personnel near the city of Zahedan. Pakistani security forces later intervened and secured the release of at least five of the 12 abductees.

In November 2018, the Iranian Interior Ministry warned that Iranian armed forces may launch operations against terrorists inside the Pakistani territory in case Islamabad fails to do its part.

NA/PA

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