Iran's FM condemns Pakistan terrorist attack ahead of Imran Khan visit

April 20, 2019

TEHRAN- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has condemned a recent terrorist attack in a remote area of Pakistan's southwestern province of Balochistan ahead of the first and historic visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to Iran.

"Terrorists, extremists & their sponsors are terrified by close relations between Muslim states," Zarif said in a post on his official Twitter account on Friday.

The top Iranian diplomat reaffirmed the Islamic Republic's support for the Pakistani government and nation.

Heavily-armed assailants on Thursday shot dead at least 14 people after pulling them from several passenger buses on the Makran coastal highway between Karachi and the Gwadar port in Balochistan.

Ziaullah Langove, home minister for Balochistan, said the passengers were killed after the attackers checked their identity cards and forced them out on the highway, adding, "Terrorists offloaded 14 persons from different buses after checking their NICs. They took them and killed them," referring to Pakistani national identity cards.

Meanwhile, in a Thursday meeting with Iranian Ambassador to Islamabad Mahdi Honardoost, the Pakistani prime minister said his country attaches great importance to its ties with Iran, and he will seek closer relations between the two neighbors during his upcoming visit to the Islamic Republic.

“Pakistan attaches great significance to its neighbors, especially the Islamic Republic of Iran, which shares many interests and commonalities with Pakistan,” the prime minister said.

Before arriving in Tehran for bilateral talks with top Iranian officials, Khan is expected to have a brief stop-over in the holy city of Mashhad on April 21, the day when Shia Muslims around the world celebrate the birthday anniversary of Imam Mahdi, the 12th and last Shia imam.

Also on Friday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Abbas Moussavi denounced the terrorist attack in Pakistan.

"Terrorism is an ominous phenomenon which will not be eradicated unless through all-out cooperation among its victim countries," Moussavi said.

The Iranian spokesman emphasized that Tehran is ready to strengthen its cooperation with Islamabad in all intelligence, security and operational fields to fight terrorism.

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