Months after India carried out surgical strikes on terror launch pads in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, Islamabad received a veiled threat of similar strikes by Iran on Monday. Iran’s Chief of Army Staff Major General Mohammad Hossein Bagheri warned his country would not hesitate to strike terror safe havens in Pakistan if the latter failed to control their movement in bordering areas or failed to close their bases.
In a report, news agency IRNA quoted General Bagheri as saying: “Unfortunately, Iran’s eastern border regions with Pakistan have become a safe haven for training and equipping terrorists recruited by Saudi Arabia and supported by the United States. We will not tolerate this situation in the joint borders and expect the Pakistani officials to show responsibility, control their borders, arrest terrorists and shut down outlaws’ bases.” “If continued, we will hit the terrorists’ safe havens anywhere they are,” he added.
Not just in India, Pakistani terrorists have been creating mayhem in Iran and Afghanistan for long. Last month, terrorists from Pakistani killed 10 Iranian border guards. Tehran had then said that Jaish al-Adl, a terror outfit, had shot the guards with long-range guns which were fired from Pakistan.
Jaish al-Adl is a Sunni militant group, which has carried out several attacks on Iranian forces. This was the third instance in the last four years when the terror group claimed responsibility for an attack. In October 2013, as many as 14 Iranian border guards were killed, while eight more were killed by them in April 2015.
South-East Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province has been hit by drug smuggling gangs and separatist terrorists for years. The population of this Iranian province is predominantly Sunni Muslim, while the majority of Iranians are Shias.
Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of sheltering terrorists who launch deadly attacks on its terroritory on a regular basis. Pakistan also makes the similar claim against Afghanistan. Last week, clashes were reported on Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Pakistan claimed to have killed 50 Afghan soldiers in the clash. However, Afghanistan officials said only two of their soldiers were killed. “Woke up to celebratory front page headlines today on all Pak papers saying Pak killed 50 Afg soldiers & injured 100 in Chaman clash (sic),” Afghanistan’s envoy to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal tweeted.
However, Afghanistan officials said only two of their soldiers were killed. “Woke up to celebratory front page headlines today on all Pak papers saying Pak killed 50 Afg soldiers & injured 100 in Chaman clash (sic),” Afghanistan’s envoy to Pakistan Omar Zakhilwal tweeted.
The border clash of last week is the latest example of the tensed relationship shared by Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Pakistani terror groups like Jaish-e-Mohammad and Lashar-e-Taiba have carried out scores of attacks in India so far. Last year in September, JeM killed 19 Indian soldiers at Uri, Kashmir in a cowardly attack at the crack of the dawn. The incident forced India to take on the terror groups in PoK. Since then, Pakistani terrorists have carried out several small attacks on Indian soldiers in Kashmir. Some of them have also carried out bank loot incidents and killed police personnel.
Pakistan officially claims it is fighting a war against terror on its territory. However, Pakistan’s anti-terror policy is dubious and exposed to the world. Pakistan differentiates between “good” and “bad” terrorists. While it is apparently taking on the “bad” terrorists who are affecting Pakistan, the country promotes the “good” terrorists to keep rolling its undeclared proxy war against India.
Recently, Pakistan’s Border Action Team (BAT), which reportedly comprises of Pakistani soldiers as well as terrorists, had killed two Indian soldiers and mutilated their bodies. The incident led to a call for retaliation from across the country. Responding to the calls, Indian Army chief said, “We don’t talk about future plans beforehand; we share details after execution”.
Pakistan’s failure to control terrorists on its territory has made the entire South Asia unstable. This along with the recent statements against the country from the army chiefs of Iran and India shows Islamabad is testing the patience of all three neighbours — Iran, Afghanistan and India.
(With agency inputs)