Zarif visits Pakistan over kidnapped Iranian soldiers

October 31, 2018 - 20:34

TEHRAN – Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Pakistan in the early hours of Wednesday morning to follow up on the fate of the Iranian border guards who were recently kidnapped by terrorists at Iran-Pakistan border.

Upon his arrival in Islamabad at the head of a political and military delegation, Zarif told reporters that “constant consultations” between the two countries are necessary so that the abducted Iranian forces return to their homeland safely, Mehr reported.

“Iran and Pakistan are very good neighbors, and Tehran enjoys good relations with Islamabad,” he said.

He emphasized that Pakistani officials have promised to spare no efforts to secure the release of the kidnapped forces.

On October 15, the Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group kidnapped 12 Iranian border guards at the Mirjaveh border post in Sistan-Baluchestan province and transferred them to Pakistan. 

The group later posted two photos of the abductees on its social media channel.

Zarif discusses abduction case with Imran Khan

Later in the day, Zarif met with Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to exchange views about the border guards issue and to discuss ways to counter terrorist groups and boost the security of joint borders.

During their meeting, the two sides also discussed bilateral relations, especially their energy ties, issues in Afghanistan and Yemen, and other topics of mutual interest.

The foreign minister also met with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mehmood Qureshi, and they conferred on ways to improve border security and conduct joint operations against terrorist groups.

In the meeting, Zarif thanked Pakistani officials for showing goodwill with regard to the guards issue and their efforts to ensure the safe return of the Iranian border guards to their families.

He presented some proposals to his Pakistani counterpart, which aim to improve border security and conduct joint operations against terrorist and criminal groups.

For his part, Qureshi highlighted the friendly relations between the two sides, and called for improvement of communication and intelligence exchange to address Iran’s security concerns.

“Iran’s security is Pakistan’s security, and we will put in every effort and use every resource to ease Iran’s security concerns along the borders,” he stated.

In a separate meeting, Zarif discussed the fate of the abducted forces with Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, Qamar Javed Bajwa.

The two sides called for cooperation and efforts for ensuring border security, accelerating efforts and measures for the release of the Iranian forces, as well as cooperation for establishing peace and security in the region, particularly in Yemen and Afghanistan.