Lahore: Pakistan on Wednesday issued a strongly worded condemnation of Iran’s “violation of its airspace”, during which Tehran claimed to have targeted two bases belonging to the Jaish al-Adl militant group.
It also warned the neighbouring country that such actions can have “serious consequences”.
Iran on Tuesday launched attacks in Pakistan, targeting what it described as bases for the militant group, the country’s state media reported, potentially raising tensions in a Middle East already roiled by Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Iran’s attack could potentially raise tensions in the Middle East, already roiled by Israel’s war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
Two key strongholds of the Jaysh al-Dhulm (Jaish al-Adl) terrorist group in Pakistan were specifically targeted and successfully demolished, Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency said.
Claiming that the area targeted is called “Green Mountain”, the agency said that the bases were targeted by a combination of missile and drone attacks.
The Jaish al-Adl militant group has previously mounted attacks on Iranian security forces in the border area with Pakistan, the Dawn newspaper reported.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan strongly condemned the attack, describing it as an “unprovoked violation of its airspace” by Iran. It said the attack killed two children and injured three others.
“Pakistan vehemently protests the violation of its sovereignty,” the Foreign Office said, adding that it was “completely unacceptable” and may have “serious consequences”.
It also expressed concern that the “illegal act took place despite the existence of several established channels of communication between Pakistan and Iran”.
Pakistan also summoned the Iranian charge d’affaires to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey its “strongest condemnation of this blatant violation” of sovereignty.
“A strong protest has already been lodged with the senior official concerned in the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Tehran. Additionally, the Iranian charge d’affaires has been called to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to convey our strongest condemnation of this blatant violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and that the responsibility for the consequences will lie squarely with Iran,” the statement said.
The Foreign Office of Pakistan did not mention the location where the casualties took place. However, it is suspected that the bases were in Panjgur in Balochistan province.
Local authorities in Panjgur preferred to remain silent on the attacks, but some confided that the missile attacks also hit a mosque, partially damaging it and injuring civilians.
“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,” the Foreign Office said.
Jaish al-Adl, or the “Army of Justice”, is a Sunni militant group founded in 2012 that largely operates in Pakistan. Iran has fought in border areas against the militants, but a missile-and-drone attack on Pakistan would be unprecedented for Iran.
Last month, at least 11 Iranian police officers were killed in an attack overnight on a police station in the southeastern province of Sistan-Balochistan, according to Iranian Interior Minister Ahmad Vahidi, who blamed the Jaish al-Adl for the incident.
He claimed the Jaish militants had entered Sistan from the Pakistan side near Panjgur.
Over the years, the troubled Balochistan province has become a hotbed for terror attacks, and many banned religious terror, and separatist outfits have also used its soil to carry out attacks against Pakistan’s security personnel and installations.