Islamabad: Pakistan ’s top commander has asked Tehran to tighten its borders to curb terrorist attacks on Pakistan ’s security forces allegedly operating from Iran.
General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), called his Iranian counterpart, Major General (Maj. Gen).
“The COAS said that Pakistan has started fencing the border but will require mutual bilateral cooperation to ensure border security and stem smuggling activity which is also used by terrorists and Narco traffickers for covering their movement,” the ISPR added.
Bajwa contacted Bagheri in the wake of an attack on a Frontier Corps patrol team in the Buleda area of Kech district last Friday in which six Pakistani security personnel lost their lives.
The attack, which took place about 14 km from the Iranian border, was claimed by the banned Baloch Liberation Army.
“The recent terrorist attack on Pak security forces resulting in shahadat of six security personnel near the Pak-Iran border also came under discussion. Both commanders resolved to enhance security measures on either side of the border,” the ISPR said.
“The recent terrorist attacks on North-based security forces have caused the shadow of six security personnel near the northern Iranian border, which is also under discussion. The commanders of both sides are determined to strengthen security measures on both sides of the border.”
A Pakistani military spokesman added in a statement that the head of the Pakistani Army reiterated that “the country is eager to achieve regional peace and stability on the basis of mutual respect, non-interference and equality.”
The Pakistan Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) approved additional funds of Rs 3 crore ($ 18.6 million) on April 29 for the enclosure of the border with Iran.
The Pakistani Senate was informed by the Lutchistan border police on May 10 last year that the country has begun to fence certain areas of the border, which are hot spots for smuggling and armed fighting.
The 900 km border starts at Koh-i-Malik Salih Mountain and ends at Gwadar Bay in the Gulf of Oman.
“The work on the Pak-Iran border fencing has been underway for the last few months for effective border management and to curb smuggling and militant activities,” Pakistan’s foreign office spokesperson, Aisha Farooqui, told Arab News on Tuesday.
She added that no objection certificate from the foreign office is required because it is mainly the decision of the agency responsible for border management and security.
Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmoud Qureshi also linked the pandemic coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Pakistan to the repatriation of pilgrims from Iran on Monday.
He said at the National Assembly meeting that although Islamabad requested to wait until the COVID-19 quarantine facility was ready for Iran, Iran pushed about 5,000 Pakistani nationals to the border of Baluchistan.
“Fencing the Pak-Iran border is very important as it is very difficult to patrol such a long stretch. It can only prove successful in curbing smuggling, narcotics and terrorists’ infiltration if Iran also reciprocates the efforts,” senior defense analyst, Lt. Gen. (retired) Amjad Shoaib, told Arab News.
He added that insurgent and militant activities had increased due to a heavy Indian presence in Chabahar.
“The need for border fencing was increased after the heavy presence of Indians in Chabahar, which resulted in an increase in insurgent activities as they have training camps there.
“Iran used to accuse Pakistan for infiltration of Jandullah from its side which was effectively eliminated by Pakistan, but Iran has not controlled insurgents and militants from using its soil for terrorist activities inside Pakistan,” Shoaib said.