Iran asked to ensure probe into cross border attack

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has called upon the Iranian authorities to ensure a thorough investigation into the cross border terrorist attack that took place in Panjgur district of Balochistan and bring the perpetrators to task.

At her weekly news briefing here in Islamabad on Thursday, Foreign Office Spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said the terrorists used the Iranian soil to target a convoy of security forces patrolling along Pakistan-Iran border. She said we expect Iran to ensure its territory is not used for cross border attacks in Pakistan. The spokesperson said Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.

She said we strongly commit that our territory will not be used for undertaking cross border attacks in Iran and we expect the same from Iran. The spokesperson said Pakistan and Iran are neighbors and our channel of communications are active. We are sharing with the Iranian side our concerns regarding the incident.

Responding to a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan has always desired cooperative relationship with all its neighbors including India. She said we have consistently advocated for constructive engagement to resolve all outstanding issues including the core dispute of Jammu and Kashmir. However, India’s unabated hostility and retrogressive actions have vitiated the environment and impeded the process of peace and cooperation, she added.

She said onus remains on India to create an enabling environment for meaningful and result oriented dialogue. She said the reversal of India’s illegal and unilateral actions of 5th August 2019 in the illegally occupied Jammu and Kashmir is of critical importance. The spokesperson said Pakistan will also appreciate if international community especially friendly countries would convince India to take such steps.

To a question, the spokesperson said Pakistan is in close contact with Saudi Arabia on matters pertaining to their investment in Pakistan. She said Pakistan and the United States are in the process of robust engagement and dialogue. She said Pakistan expects to further deepen its cooperation with the US. The spokesperson said Pakistan and China have agreed to temporarily reopen Khunjerab border in two phases. In the first phase, the Khunjerab border will open today for two days and again from end January to early February after the Chinese Spring Festival. She said the Khunjerab border remains closed during the winter months.

However, she said, the Chinese side has agreed to Pakistani request for temporary reopening of the border to facilitate local traders. We appreciate the special efforts of border officials on both sides to ensure smooth border operations despite inclement weather conditions, she added. Mumtaz Zahra Baloch said Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will undertake an official visit to Tashkent, Uzbekistan on January 25 to attend the 26th meeting of the Council of Ministers of Economic Cooperation Organization. She said the Foreign Minister will address the moot and hold bilateral meetings with participating ministers and other dignitaries on the sidelines of the event.