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Pakistan carries out retaliatory attacks in Iran over earlier airstrikes that killed two

The development came after Iran admitted to carry out the airstrike in Pakistan and affirmed that they only targeted terrorists and not Pakistani citizens. Iran launched massive airstrikes targeting Jaish al-Adl--a Sunni militant group which largely operates across the border in Pakistan.

Reported By : Manish Prasad Edited By : Aveek Banerjee
Islamabad
Updated on: January 18, 2024 9:09 IST
Pakistan attacks Iran, Pakistan-Iran tensions
Image Source : X Iranian Foreign Minister met Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Pakistan on Thursday carried out a retaliatory attack by hitting militant targets in Iran, a day after warning Tehran of "serious consequences" for an "unprovoked breach of airspace" in the latter's aerial attacks in Balochistan that killed two children. Pakistan had strongly condemned Iran's strikes and warned that the incident could have "serious consequences" and was "completely unacceptable", expelling the Iranian ambassador and recalling its envoy from Tehran.

Pakistan missiles targeted seven locations inside Iran, including hideouts and training camps of terrorists in the Sistan and Balochistan (BLA & BLF) province. Notably, Pakistan's Foreign Minister Jalil Abbas Jilani told his Iranian counterpart that the unprecedented attack by Iran on Tuesday seriously damaged the ties between the two nations.

The development came after Iran admitted to carrying out the airstrike in Pakistan and affirmed that they only targeted terrorists. While speaking at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, Iran's Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, claimed that no Pakistani citizens had been targeted. The Iranian minister said he had spoken to his Pakistani counterpart and "assured him that we do respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan and Iraq."

Why did Iran attack Pakistan?

According to the Pakistani government, the missile infiltrated their airspace and killed at least two children. Notably, Tehran's staunch action on the Panjgur region coincided with a meeting between the Iranian Foreign Minister and caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar ul Haq Kakar on the sideline of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

According to al-Arabiya News, the militant group was formed in 2012 and is designated as a “terrorist” organization by Tehran. It has a history of launching multiple attacks on Iranian security forces over the years. According to Iranian media, a police station in Sistan-Baluchistan was attacked wherein at least 11 policemen were killed. Later, the group claimed responsibility for the attack.

Pakistan's response to Iran attacks

Meanwhile, the foreign ministry, during a press conference, called Tehran's action an "unprovoked and blatant" breach of Pakistan's sovereignty. It termed the move as a violation of international law and the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations. "This illegal act is completely unacceptable and has no justification whatsoever. Pakistan reserves the right to respond to this illegal act," said the foreign ministry.

Later today, Islamabad recalled its ambassador from Iran and the Iranian ambassador to Pakistan who is visiting Iran will not be allowed to come back. "Pakistan has decided to recall its ambassador from Iran and that the Iranian Ambassador to Pakistan who is currently visiting Iran may not return for the time being," Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said while addressing a press briefing in Islamabad.

Additionally, the Iranian Charge d’affaires was summoned to Pakistan's foreign ministry to raise "strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran", said the Foreign Office.

The Foreign Office of Pakistan did not mention the location where the casualties took place. However, it is suspected that the bases were in Balochistan. "Pakistan has always said terrorism is a common threat to all countries in the region that requires coordinated action. Such unilateral acts are not in conformity with good neighbourly relations and can seriously undermine bilateral trust and confidence," further read the statement.

Last month, at least 11 Iranian police officers were killed in an attack overnight on a police station in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan. Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, while visiting the site, had urged Pakistan to prevent terrorist groups from establishing bases within its borders, according to Iranian media.

ALSO READ | India's first response over Iran's airstrikes in Pakistan: 'We understand actions taken in self-defence'

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