Pakistan and Iran have pledged to bolster their security cooperation following a series of tit-for-tat missile strikes targeting militant groups. The announcement came after high-level talks between the foreign ministers of both countries in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad.
Pakistan’s caretaker Foreign Minister, Jalil Abbas Jilani, emphasized the importance of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity during a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian. Jilani highlighted the effectiveness of existing channels of communication between the two nations in swiftly resolving any misunderstandings.
The recent missile strikes, which heightened tensions between the neighbouring Muslim nations, marked the most serious incidents in their relationship in years. Despite historical challenges, both countries have committed to combating terrorism within their respective territories and establishing mechanisms for ongoing consultations at the foreign ministerial level to oversee progress across various sectors.
Abdollahian echoed Jilani’s sentiments, emphasizing the depth of understanding between Pakistan and Iran. He underscored the significance of Pakistan’s security for Iran and the broader region, affirming a shared commitment to thwarting terrorist threats and ensuring the safety of both nations.
Efforts to defuse tensions were evident as Pakistan swiftly moved to normalize diplomatic relations after the missile strikes. Envoys were asked to resume their positions, and Abdollahian was invited for talks to facilitate dialogue and reconciliation.
The missile strikes targeted separatist groups such as the Baloch Liberation Front (BLF) and Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) in Pakistan’s Balochistan province. Tehran, meanwhile, claimed to have targeted militants from the Jaish al Adl (JAA) group operating in Iran’s southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan province. These areas, characterized by their restive nature, mineral wealth, and underdevelopment, have long been focal points for separatist and militant activities.
Despite past tensions, both Pakistan and Iran are committed to enhancing cooperation and security measures to address common challenges. The prospect of joint efforts to combat terrorism and promote regional stability signals a positive step forward in the relationship between the two nations.