Tuesday, June 25, 2024
Advertisement
  1. You Are At:
  2. News
  3. World
  4. Pakistan, Iran foreign ministers to hold talks amid tensions over tit-for-tat attacks

Pakistan, Iran foreign ministers to hold talks amid tensions over tit-for-tat attacks

The development came after officials from Iranian and Pakistani foreign ministers exchanged goodwill messages amid tensions. Pakistan launched retaliatory attacks on Thursday that killed nine people in Iran, in response to Tehran's attack on militant groups in the Balochistan province on Tuesday.

Edited By: Aveek Banerjee @AveekABanerjee Islamabad Published on: January 19, 2024 17:00 IST
Pakistan-Iran tensions, foreign ministers
Image Source : AP/FILE Pakistan's caretaker foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani.

Pakistan-Iran tensions: The foreign ministers of Pakistan and Iran are expected to hold telephonic conversations on Friday evening as relations between the two countries plunged following their missile strikes against militants in each other's territories. The development came as officials of the foreign ministries exchanged goodwill messages in an apparent bid to restore the situation.

“Foreign ministers Jalil Abbas Jilani and Hossein Amir-Abdollahian would interact to ease tension between the countries,” well-placed sources told news agency PTI, without giving the exact timings. Mumtaz Baloch, the spokesperson of Pakistan's Foreign Office, shared an exchange of messages between Additional Foreign Secretary Rahim Hayat Qureshi and his Iranian counterpart Seyed Rasoul Mousavi on her X handle, saying: “Some positive exchanges".

Pakistan said on Thursday it had carried out precision against separatist militants in Iran using killer drones, rockets, loitering munitions and stand-off weapons that struck "terrorist" groups Balochistan Liberation Army and the Balochistan Liberation Front, killing nine people. This came two days after Tehran said it struck the bases of a terrorist group in Pakistan's Balochistan province on Tuesday, following which Islamabad recalled its envoy and expelled the Iranian Ambassador.

Pakistan's additional foreign secretary Qureshi said Pakistan and Iran have fraternal relations and the countries need to move forward to resolve all issues through positive dialogue and it is important to restore trust and confidence that have defined Pakistan-Iran bilateral tensions.

Meanwhile, Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister Anwaarul Haq Kakar has summoned separate meetings of the federal cabinet and the National Security Committee (NSC) to discuss the situation arising out of tensions with Iran. Kakar, who was in Davos to attend the World Economic Forum, cut his trip short to return home on Thursday.

Pakistan has no interest in escalation: FM

In a conversation with his Turkish counterpart, Pakistan's caretaker foreign minister Jalil Abbas Jilani on Friday said Islamabad had no interest or desire in escalation, Geo News reported. "Pakistan’s Operation Marg Bar Sarmachar was aimed at terrorist camps inside Iran," he said. 

The United States and the United Nations have called for calm between the two countries as the tensions rose in the midst of the Israel-Hamas war threatening to spill over in the Middle East. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed deep concern over the situation and offered to help resolve the differences.

“He is very concerned about this escalation, about the exchange of fire, rockets, between Iran and Pakistan. We have seen reports of casualties on both sides,” said the Secretary-General’s Spokesperson Stéphane Dujarric. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby also said, "We don't want to see an escalation clearly in South and Central Asia. And we're in touch with our Pakistani counterparts."

The Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned Pakistan's drone attack on non-Iranian villagers on the border of the two nations, calling it "unbalanced and unacceptable". It asserted that Tehran adheres to the policy of "good neighbourliness and brotherhood" between the two countries and expects the Pakistani government to adhere to its obligations in preventing the establishment of bases and deployment of terrorist groups on its soil.

Iran and Pakistan share a 900-kilometer (560-mile), largely lawless border in which smugglers and militants freely pass between the two nations. For both countries, the cross-border attacks renew questions about the preparedness of their own militaries, particularly their radar and air defense systems.

Tensions with Iran won't affect polls: Pak election commission

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) on Friday said the general elections scheduled for February 8 will not be affected by the escalating tensions following the tit-for-tat exchange of strikes between the two neighbours.

ECP spokesperson said that the polls body is still determined and focused on holding elections as scheduled despite the situation. "We are working as usual and all set to hold elections on February 8," The News International reported the spokesperson as saying. Caretaker Information Minister also said the elections would be held on time and the situation with Iran would de-escalate soon.

Kakar has constituted a seven-member committee mandated with ensuring the smooth conduct of the February 8 general elections already impaired by allegations of "pre-poll rigging", Dawn reported. Interim Minister for Communications, Railways, and Maritime Affairs Shahid Ashraf Tarar has been named as the head of the committee.

The tit-for-tat attacks between Pakistan and Iran within two days have raised tensions in the volatile region, already grappling with Israel's war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip and the targeting of the merchant ships in the Red Sea by Yemen's Houthis.

(with inputs from PTI)

ALSO READ | Iran 'not well-liked' in region, says US President Biden after Pakistan's retaliatory strikes

Advertisement

Read all the Breaking News Live on indiatvnews.com and Get Latest English News & Updates from World

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement